A MAUSOLEUM’S MENAGERIE? According to Josephus, Hyrcanus adorned his monument with “beasts of gigantic size.” When explorers began visiting the qasr in the 19th century, they found clear evidence of its beastly decoration, including lifelike depictions of lions and lionesses with nursing cubs that surround the building’s upper story. These animals are often found in funerary contexts in the ancient world and, as such, their presence is a clue to the structure’s purpose.