Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to page footer


The necropolis as a memoryscape

Memoryscapes are immersive, multi-sensorial landscapes inviting their visitors to remember their individual or collective history within a space physically occupied by memorials and monuments. Actively redeploying architectural and sculptural materialities, cemeteries inscribe their visitors with stories and memories authored and edited by the communities that produced them. This is most evident in societies in flux, such as Alexandria in the 4th-1st c. BCE, when cemeteries – what the Greeks themselves called necropoleis, that is “cities of the dead” – were organized and designed as ideological powerhouses of and for the community, meant to commemorate the dead whilst educating the living. One particular aspect of this stage will be to investigate the influence cemeteries exercise on future generations as cohesive devices for the life of the community: from commemorating the dead to propagating social norms and values (as in the case of the Early and Mid-Hellenistic cemeteries of Alexandria, mostly populated by naturalized immigrants) or to forging discourses of localized and globalized identities – ethnic, social, religious or other.

An on-site Workshop on this theme will take place in Alexandria, during the first year of the project (September 2024).


Support for this Program is provided by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative.