'Seikilos Stele' Taken Abroad 139 Years Ago Waiting to Return Home

The Seikilos Stele, which was taken abroad a year ago, is waiting to return to its home
'Seikilos Stele' Taken Abroad 139 Years Ago Waiting to Return Home

The Seikilos Tomb Inscription is an Ancient Greek burial stone found in the ancient city of Tralleis during the construction of the Aydın-İzmir railway between 1882-1883 and attracting the attention of scientists with its musical display.

The dates for the inscription are given between 200 BC and 100 AD, but the general consensus is that it belongs to the 2nd century AD. According to some sources, it belongs to Euterpe, the wife of Seikilos, and according to some detailed studies, it belongs to his father.

In the inscription, the lyrics of the song written by Seikilos, the notes and the burial text are written one under the other. It is known as the “Song of Seikilos” and is known as one of the oldest surviving musical works. It has been in the Danish National Museum since 1966.

The description below the Burial Stone reads: “I am a stone, an image. Seikilos put me here as an eternal token of his immortal memory.”

The work was found by the company representative Edward Purser during the construction of the Aydın-İzmir railway and was included in his private collection. It is stated that the six broken bases of the column were considered by Purser's wife as a flower pot, therefore, a line of the text is missing.

William Mitchell Ramsay, who was conducting archaeological research in Turkey at the end of the 19th century, introduced this inscription he saw in Puser's collection in his article titled “Inscriptions inédites de l'Asie Mineure” published in 1883. The inscription was photographed by Alfred Laumonier in 1922. The column was transferred to the collection of Young, Purser's lawyer living in Buca. He was protected by the German Consul in Izmir upon the occupation of Izmir in 1922 and was taken from Istanbul to Stockholm by his lawyer Williem Daniels.

It was purchased by the National Museum in Copenhagen in 1966. It has been exhibited there since 1966. Efforts are being made to bring the inscription back to Turkey.

The notes are written in the Ancient Greek musical notation used until the Byzantine period. This notation is an easy layout of symbols superimposed on vowels in lyrics. Compositions have been found on other burial stones before, but it is the first work in which the lament on the Seikolos Burial Inscription is (all) possible to be interpreted musically.

Günceleme: 08/11/2022 14:42

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