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Archaeology

The archaeological funds are made up of around 650 pieces, although their type and place of origin vary greatly. This includes the collection of steles, epitaphs and shields, in addition to objects from other cultures. Roman Paleo-Christian, Egyptian, Phoenician, modern or pre-Columbian lachrymatories, anforeta jars, glass beads and figurines make up this final section. We should highlight the collection of steles within this section.

Steles

Steles are funeral monuments that show the place of burial or the place where a death occurred. The names they receive in Basque, hilarri (death stone), harri gizona (stone man) or ilargi (moon-light of death) illustrate the three aspects covered by the studies: the fact they are made of stone that lasts over time, their drawn human form and the astral relation with their decoration. The dominating importance of one of these three aspects over the others is widely debated today.

Although their more generalised shape is a disc composed of a circle of stone, either sandstone, limestone or marble, on a base fixed into the ground, there are also rectangular and anthropomorphic versions. The majority bear etchings or incisions, human or animal representations, inscriptions or a variety of decorations: geometric, astral, cruciform and floral.

The San Telmo museum collection of steles is made up of over 80 pieces, from the Basque Country and outlying areas. Due to their variety of types and wide ranging chronology - from pre-Roman times to the end of the 19th century - they make up an exceptional display of funerary art.

Stele A-000153
Stele A-000130
Stele A-000119
Stele A-000137
Stele A-000129
Stele A-000169

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