The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus was a tomb at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a Satrap (governor) in the Persian Empire.
Between 353 and 350 BC
Greek architects Satyros and Pytheos.
About 45m (148 ft) in height
Artemisia spared no expense in building the tomb, though she sent messengers to Greece to find the most talented artists of the time. These included Scopas and many other famous sculptors of the time. The tomb was erected on a hill overlooking the city and the whole structure sat in an enclosed courtyard. At the center of the courtyard was a stone platform on which the tomb sat. A stairway flanked by stone lions led to the top of the platform, which bore along its outer walls, many statues of gods and goddesses. At each corner, stone warriors mounted on horseback guarded the tomb and many other bas-reliefs.
Considering its design and art, modern historians have pointed out that 2 years would not be enough time to decorate and build such an extravagant building. Therefore, it is believed that construction was begun by Mausolus before his death or continued by the next leaders.
It got its place in the list not because of its size or strength but due to the beauty of its design and how it was decorated with sculpture and ornaments.
How do we know?
Much of the information we have gathered about the Mausoleum and its structure has come from the Roman polymath Pliny the Elder.
A number of statues were found of 5ft or more in length, these were 20 lion statues.
Discovery, Research and Excavation
In the 19th century, a British consul obtained several of the statues from Bodrum Castle; these now reside in the British Museum.
In 1852 the British Museum sent the archaeologist Charles Thomas Newton to search for more remains of the Mausoleum.
Then from 1966 to 1977, the Mausoleum was thoroughly researched by Prof. Kristian Jeppesen of Aarhus University, Denmark.
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Mausoleum of Mausolus left a great impact on modern architecture and an influence can be seen at: –
The Civil Courts in St. Louis
The National Newark Building in New Jersey
Grant’s Tomb in New York City
26 Broadway in New York City
Los Angeles City Hall
The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne, Australia
The spire of St. George’s Church in Bloomsbury, London.
The Indiana War Memorial in Indianapolis
The House of the Temple in Washington D.C
Soldiers and Sailors Memorial in Pittsburgh
Mausolus’ wife Artemisia was also his sister.
Most of the mausoleum was made of marble.
Mausoleum was surrounded by a courtyard.
Alexander the Great took over the city in 334 BC but the Mausoleum was left untouched.
When pirates attacked the city in 58 and 62 BC, the Mausoleum was again left undamaged.
In the 1800s, Charles Newton found the statues of Mausolus and Artemisia and a piece of the wheel of the chariot.
Remains of can be seen in Mausoleum Room in the British Museum.
Some people think that Mausolus and Artemisia were Cremated and placed in urns in the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus and some think they were buried in coffins. There is no proof for either theory.
The word Mausoleum has been derived from Mausolus and now is be used generically for an above-ground tomb.
Mausolus, with his wife ruled for 24 years.
The rock on which the building was standing was excavated to 8 or 9ft deep over an area of 107 by 127ft.
Mausolus was descended from local people, spoke Greek and admired the Greek way of life and government.
It stood above the city’s ruins for 16 centuries.
The building was rectangular, not square.
The building was surrounded by a colonnade of 36 columns.
On top there were 4 horse chariots of marble.
Hyginus, a grammarian in the time of Augustus describes the monument as built with shining stones, 80ft high and 1340ft in circumference.
Marbles from the tomb can still be seen in Bodrum castle.
It was destroyed by successive earthquakes from the 12th to the 15th century and final destruction was done by Crusaders in 1522 AD
Many of the stones from the ruins were used by the knights to fortify their castle at Bodrum; they also recovered bas-reliefs with which they decorated the new building. Much of the marble was burned into lime and now only the foundations are left at the site of Mausoleum.