Couched in Death: Klinai and Identity in Anatolia and Beyond

Couched in Death: Klinai and Identity in Anatolia and Beyond

by Elizabeth P. Baughan


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In Couched in Death, Elizabeth P. Baughan offers the first comprehensive look at the earliest funeral couches in the ancient Mediterranean world. These sixth- and fifth-century BCE klinai from Asia Minor were inspired by specialty luxury furnishings developed in Archaic Greece for reclining at elite symposia. It was in Anatolia, however—in the dynastic cultures of Lydia and Phrygia and their neighbors—that klinai first gained prominence not as banquet furniture but as burial receptacles. For tombs, wooden couches were replaced by more permanent media cut from bedrock, carved from marble or limestone, or even cast in bronze. The rich archaeological findings of funerary klinai throughout Asia Minor raise intriguing questions about the social and symbolic meanings of this burial furniture. Why did Anatolian elites want to bury their dead on replicas of Greek furniture? Do the klinai found in Anatolian tombs represent Persian influence after the conquest of Anatolia, as previous scholarship has suggested?
            Bringing a diverse body of understudied and unpublished material together for the first time, Baughan investigates the origins and cultural significance of kline-burial and charts the stylistic development and distribution of funerary klinai throughout Anatolia. She contends that funeral couch burials and banqueter representations in funerary art helped construct hybridized Anatolian-Persian identities in Achaemenid Anatolia, and she reassesses the origins of the custom of the reclining banquet itself, a defining feature of ancient Mediterranean civilizations. Baughan explores the relationships of Anatolian funeral couches with similar traditions in Etruria and Macedonia as well as their "afterlife" in the modern era, and her study also includes a comprehensive survey of evidence for ancient klinai in general, based on analysis of more than three hundred klinai representations on Greek vases as well as archaeological and textual sources.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780299291808
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 12/06/2013
Series: Wisconsin Studies in Classics Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 576
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth P. Baughan is associate professor of classics and archaeology at the University of Richmond. Since 2009 she has served as field supervisor for the Hacimusalar Höyük excavations in southwestern Turkey.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction: Approaches to Klinai and the Cultures of Anatolia
Geographic, Cultural, and Funerary Contexts
Background of Scholarship
Theoretical Approaches
Plan of This Book
Chapter 1. Archaic and Classical Klinai: Realities and Representations
Terminology and Function
The Rules of Reclining
Materials and Construction
Size and Placement
Design and Decoration
Type A
Type B
Physical Remains of Type B Klinai
Other Couch Types and Related Furnishings
Early Fulcra?
Klinai Amphikephaloi
Persian Turnings
Sphingopodes Klinai
Origins of the Type A and B Schemes—Milesian and Chian?
Context and Co-existence
Plato's Klinai
Chapter 2. Funerary Klinai in Anatolia
Evidence for Wooden Couches in Anatolian Tombs
Lydia and Other Regions
A Bronze Kline from Lydia
Stone and Rock-cut Couches in Tumuli
Form and Arrangement
Type B Klinai
Other Decorated Types
Plain Types
Rock-cut Chamber Tombs with Burial Couches
Summary of Evidence
Type B Klinai
Other Articulated Couch Forms
Phrygian-style Tombs in Other Regions
Lycia, Caria, and Paphlagonia
Style and Decoration
Excursus: Decorated Headrests and 'Pillows'
Occupancy, Orientation, and Arrangement
Symbolic Function
Chapter 3. Origins of the Kline-tomb
Persian Precedent?
Roots of the Kline-tomb Concept
The 'Funerary Banquet' in Anatolia
Beds in Funerary Contexts
Beds in Funerary Rituals
Bed-burials in Anatolia
Origins of the Reclining Banquet
Where, When, and with What Furnishings?
Transmission to the Greek World
Anatolian Intermediaries
Lydian-ness of Kline-burial?
Excursus: Etruscan Tombs and the Reclining Banquet in Etruria
Chapter 4. Banqueting and Identity in Achaemenid Anatolia
Approaches to Cultural Identity in Achaemenid Anatolia
Kline-tombs with Achaemenid Elements
Luxury Items and Grave Offerings
Tomb Decoration
Banqueting in Anatolian-Persian Funerary Art
Language and Dress
Furniture and Accessories
Funerary Significance?
An Anatolian-Persian 'Iconographical Complex'
A Late Archaic Western Anatolian Koine?
Chapter 5. Conclusions: Legacies and Meanings
Relationship of Anatolian and Macedonian Funerary Klinai
A Return to Plato's Klinai
The Afterlife of the Funerary Kline
Couches and Funeral Couches in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
Renaissance Reclining
Analogs in Asia
Overall Conclusions
Appendix A: Catalog of Anatolian Tombs with Funerary Beds or Couches, ca. 600–400 BCE
Appendix B: List of Vases Cited in the Text

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