Tomb of Archimedes

The so-called Tomb of Archimedes, is inserted in the context of the Necropolis Grotticelle, Greek and Roman burial area located near the Archaeological Park and visible from the street in front of the park.

The old Greek tombs that occupy this area are just a piece of the vast necropolis which was located on the plateau, bordering the Latomie (quarries), and ending in the area above the Greek Theatre.

The Necropolis remained in use until the Hellenistic period. Of the very ancient Greek graves very little is still visible, but the Roman tombs are numerous and, just on the eastern boundary of the Archaological park, among some “chamber tombs” excavated into the rock (dating back to Roman Empire) there are two that affect the top of the rocky bank and have the front decorated with Doric columns in relief, surmounted by a gable. That between the two tombs that faces south, and can be seen from the street close to the park, is traditionally called “Tomb of Archimedes”.

But it is actually a Roman columbarium, that is a Roman burial chamber provided within two rows of niches for placement of urns.

In fact, this tomb can not be that of the great scientist of Syracuse, as his death has been dated between the first century B.C. and the first century A.D.. The actual tomb of the scientist of Syracuse, discovered by Cicero, reportedly had a column in which a sphere with a circumscribed cylinder was shown.