Funerary podia of Hippos of the Decapolis and the phenomenon in the Roman world

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In the Roman world a wide variety of funerary architecture was erected along the access roads of cities to catch the eye of passersby. In Hippos (Sussita in Aramaic) of the Decapolis, the most notable funerary structures stood along the city's main approach within the Saddle Necropolis. The most distinctive elements of the necropolis's architectural remains were a series of 13 large funerary podia - the focus of the 2020 excavations. The Hippos podia are unique in the Roman world, in their dating, their architecture, and their multiplicity. The architectural design of this series of structures may be the first evidence of necropolis planning and erection of funerary monuments by the polis itself within the Roman world. The article describes the freshly exposed Hippos podia, proposes reasoning for the choice of this particular type of construction, and analyzes similar funerary structures throughout the Roman world, with emphasis on the Roman East, where sarcophagi were widespread.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-138
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Roman Archaeology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press.


  • Decapolis
  • Funerary architecture
  • Hippos
  • Roman architecture
  • burials
  • sarcophagi

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archaeology


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