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Gravestone of Sime
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Unknown
Greek, Athens, about 320 B.C.
Marble
52 x 29 x 6 3/4 in.
77.AA.89

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A deceased woman, identified as Sime by the inscription carved on the lintel above her, sits amid her family on this Athenian grave stele or tombstone. She sits on a chair with her feet on a footstool, while her husband approaches and shakes hands with her. Another woman and a young man, presumably her children, watch the scene from the background.

The handshake was a popular symbolic gesture on Classical Greek gravestones, representing family unity even after death. In the background, the standing daughter reaches forward and touches the father's chin in another common funerary gesture.

The stele is carved in the shape of a naiskos or small funerary building. This kind of stele was one of the main types of funerary monuments in Athens in the later 300s B.C.