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Ghirza: Mausoleum North-B


Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. Photo Marco Prins. Ghirza: Roman town in Libya, one of the main archaeological sites of the country.                  
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These photo's of the North Cemetery of Ghirza show Mausoleum B, which was built in the second quarter of the fourth century CE. Like Mausoleum A, it is square, built on a hight platform, and resembles a temple.
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Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. Photo Marco Prins.
There are five Corinthian columns on each side; the arches -where one would have expected a straight architrave- betray an Alexandrineinfluence. Again, the entrance faces east, where the sun rises and where the village is where the dead once lived. It was constructed by Marchius Metusan for his mother Flavia Thesylgum and father Marchius Fydel (who had built Mausoleum A for his parents Marchius Nasif and Marchia Mathlich).

The name of the mother, Flavia Thesylgum, is interesting, because it suggests that her Libyan family was recognized as Roman by the emperor Constantine the Great (r.306-337), who belonged to the gens Flavia.
False door in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. Photo Marco Prins.
A photo of the entrance, with a false door and a splendid architrave. Both have parallels in Egyptian funerary architecture (in which the false door represents the gate to the afterlife) and make the tomb look like a little house. It is easy to understand why the Arabs and Berbers of the Middle Ages believe that Ghirza was a petrified city.
Relief from in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. Museum of Lepcis Magna (Libya). Photo Jona Lendering.
This relief, which is now on display in the Museum of Lepcis Magna, was once above the entrance. It shows a clan leader on a chair, receiving a gift, and two attendants. Below, you can see other reliefs, which can today be admired in the Museum of the Jamahirjia in Tripoli: hunting scenes that do not deny that the hunter can sometimes become the victim. The scene to the right appears to be the capture of a slave, which tells something about the non-human status of these people.
Relief from in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. National Archaeological Museum of Tripoli (Libya). Photo Jona Lendering. Relief from in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. National Archaeological Museum of Tripoli (Libya). Photo Jona Lendering. Relief from in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. National Archaeological Museum of Tripoli (Libya). Photo Jona Lendering. Relief from in Ghirza, north necropolis, tomb B. National Archaeological Museum of Tripoli (Libya). Photo Jona Lendering.
General North-A South A Gh 82
North-B South C
North-C South F
North D-G South G
South NN
© Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2006
Revision: 23 May 2009
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other