Pillar tomb

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A pillar tomb is a monumental grave. Its central feature is a single, prominent pillar or column, often made of stone.


Pillar tomb in Malindi, Kenya

A number of world cultures incorporated pillars into tomb structures. Examples of such edifices are found in the ancient Greek colony of Lycia in Anatolia (e.g., the Harpy Tomb at Xanthos), and the medieval Muslim Swahili culture of the Swahili Coast (e.g., tombs at Malindi and Mnarani), which were originally built of coral rag but later of stone.

In the historic town of Hannassa in southern Somalia, ruins of houses with archways and courtyards have been found along with pillar tombs, including a rare octagonal tomb.[1] Port Dunford situated nearby also contains a number of ancient ruins, including several pillar tombs. Prior to its collapse, one these structures' pillars stood 11 metres (36 ft) high from the ground, making it the tallest tower of its kind in the wider region.[2]


  1. ^ Sanseverino, Hilary Costa (1983). "Archaeological Remains on the Southern Somali Coast". Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa 18 (1): 151–164. doi:10.1080/00672708309511319. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Hussein Mohamed Adam, Charles Lee Geshekter (ed.) (1992). The Proceedings of the First International Congress of Somali Studies. Scholars Press. p. 106. ISBN 0891306587. Retrieved 1 November 2014. 

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