Tomb of the Diver

Posted on November 22, 2010


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Discovered in 1968 in the ruins of the Greek city of Paestum, the Tomb of the Diver from c. 470 B.C. contains the only surviving example of comlete frescoes from a tomb, and the only example of frescoes portraying people.

Interestingly, the frescoes portray men drinking and lying on couches at a party – a symposium – and several appear to be couples, the men embracing and touching each other in a clearly homoerotic fashion. The cover of the tomb features a man diving into water – the image that gave the tomb its name.

Inside the tomb were the badly deteriorated skeleton of a young man, oil flasks for use in preparing for athletic games, and a drinking cup.

The Tomb of the Diver has a website, here, and a page on Wikipedia, here.