Alexander

I’m posting this as a special request from a reader, who remembers with awe the Alexander sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum. This piece is a wonder, found in Sidon, Lebanon in 1873 by Hamdi Osman, Turkey’s first archeologist. Alexander the Great is the figure at the far left, cape flying, horse rearing high, as […]

Alexsarco4

I’m posting this as a special request from a reader, who remembers with awe the Alexander sarcophagus in the Istanbul Archeological Museum. This piece is a wonder, found in Sidon, Lebanon in 1873 by Hamdi Osman, Turkey’s first archeologist. Alexander the Great is the figure at the far left, cape flying, horse rearing high, as he is about to spear an enemy. The workmanship on this frieze is meticulous and moving. Click on it to get a sense of the drama and passion it depicts, continuing all the way around the coffin. By the way, it’s not Alexander’s grave, it belonged to a subject of his, the king of Sidon. (And who thinks Turkey should give it to Lebanon, where it was found?) Only one more notable point: the museum was, essentially, empty.