The Tomb of Archimedes
Entirely carved from the rock of the Latomia of Santa Venera, in the rocky area north of the Neapolis Archaeological Park, the Grotticelle Necropolis is a true “city of the dead”, an important testimony to Syracuse’s ancient history.
The first burials date to the Bronze Age, but it was with the Greeks, in the 3rd century BC, that the Necropolis reached the height of its splendour. After a period of neglect, it came back into use in the 1st century BC under the Romans as a columbarium with two tiers of niches for cinerary urns.
Most people visit to see the Tomb of Archimedes. It is not actually the famous inventor’s tomb, but rather a tribute to him by Roman general Marcellus, who even organised a proper funeral ceremony in his honour. You can’t explore inside the tomb, but you can admire the external columns supporting the stunning tympanum. Tradition states that the finishing touches to the structure are represented by a plaque on which a theorem of Archimedes was engraved and the illustration of a sphere inscribed in a cylinder.