Anderson, William J.; Spiers, Richard Phené ; Ashby, Thomas [Editor]
The architecture of Greece and Rome (2): The architecture of ancient Rome: an account of its historic development ... — London, 1927

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other tombs in Jerusalem, known as the Tombs of Jehosaphat, of
the Judges, and of the Kings. In each case a court has been exca-
vated and sunk in the solid rock, and the entrance to the tomb cut
on one side of it. In the two first cases the entrance consists of a
portico with moulded jambs and lintel, surmounted by a pediment
enriched with debased Greek foliage. The tomb of the Kings—now
identified as the tomb of Helena, Queen of Adiabene, c. a.d. 75—is
entered through a porch consisting of a portico in antis, the face of
the jambs and lintel being enriched with carving ; above is a Doric
frieze with triglyphs and a cornice. A bunch of grapes in the centre
and a palmette on each side have been carved in the place of three
of the triglyphs. The entrance to the tomb is on the left-hand side
of the portico, and the rolling stone by which the opening was
closed still remains.
In other parts of Syria there are Roman tombs, which vary in
size from 25 to 40 feet square, and are decorated externally with
Corinthian pilasters of the angles. Internally they are covered
with barrel vaults or with domes on pendentives, the latter consist-
ing sometimes of stone slabs placed across the angles. Examples
of triangular spherical pendentives may be found in Rome1 in
various second century tombs. Some of the tombs in central Syria
are sunk in the rock, and over them are built groups of two or more
columns held together by their entablatures. Others follow the
arrangement typified by that of the Tomb of the Kings : viz., a
portico in antis and occasionally a pediment.
The most important of the rock-cut tombs are the magnificent
examples at Petra (Plate LXXIII). Cut in the vertical sides of a
cliff, and rising sometimes to over 100 feet in height, the artist was
freed from the trammels of ordinary construction and was able to
realise his conceptions much in the same way as a painter produces
a theatrical scene. One of the examples which was commenced
but never finished, shows the method employed in the setting out of
the design. The steep slope of the rocky cliff was cut away, leaving
a vertical face of the intended height and width of the tomb. The
artist commenced by drawing, on the rock itself, the various fea-
tures of the proposed design, and then (working from the top down
to the base) cut back into the solid rock to the depth required to
leave his conception in relief. In some cases, as notably in the
Khasne, a portico of two Corinthian columns in antis was sunk on
1 Infra, Ch. xv, p. 11.
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