• latw-11-10
    Grave stele from Haliller. Overview. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-11-20
    Grave stele from Haliller. Detail of relief. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-11-30
    Grave stele from Haliller. Detail of relief. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-11-40
    Grave stele from Haliller. Detail of relief. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-11-50
    Grave stele from Haliller. Detail of relief. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-11-60
    Grave stele from Haliller. Detail of inscription. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Grave Stele from Haliller

Date
Shortly after the middle of the fourth century BC, Late Lydian (Persian)
Museum
Ödemiş, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 2767
Inventory No.
2767
Material
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture, Inscription
Sculpture Type
Stele, Relief, Human Figure
Inscription language
Lydian
Inscription Text

borlλ C III III I artakśaerśaλ

qaλmλuλ dãv rasakaś

śatrabaś kẽmẽd il fak

mẽmuloś kasulis ol?l s

m?ivλ?xxnal? x?orlis kob?si

bad?afulis karolis lis

sforsis ali?krelis badafu

kãnaś sodqλτal? ak k?ik?or?

sid axx? es?λ sadmẽλ xxxλ

ak n?x q?is fensλibid esλ

a?l?x

Inscription Translation
“In the year 17 since King Artaxerxes the Satrap Rasakes (Rosakes) made the k.” [six lines untranslatable] “And whoever penetrates/violates this [installation…].” [followed by one missing line with a curse against the violator]. (Melchert)
Inscription Comment
Site
Haliller
Description
At the top of the stele, “a local version of an anthemion finial of lyre-volute type. In place of the usual palmette is a schematic rendering of a bird in flight, with splayed wing feathers substituting for palmette leaves” (Roosevelt 2009, 261). Below the anthemion, relief image showing a female figure seated facing right on a covered stool, with her feet on a footstool, receiving an object from a small figure in front of her, facing left. The woman wears headgear of the “sakkos” sort, with a narrow ribbon or queue of hair hanging down behind. The small figure (youth, Gusmani and Akkan 2004, 139) wears a long garment and stands, evidently on the footstool. Below the image, a retrograde text in Lydian probably contained 12 lines, of which most or all of the first 10 and 3 letters of the 12th survive (all of the 11th and most of the 12th are missing due to breakage of the stele). Several words are otherwise unknown; and many letters are unclear; but several words with unclear letters may be identified with confidence. The stele is a grave marker for an otherwise unknown woman, Sforsis, apparently daughter of Alikres and wife of Badafus(?) (line 7). The 17th year of King Artaxerxes and Satrap Rasakas (Rosakes/Roisakes) are cited in the first 3 lines. The text concludes with a formulaic prohibition against disturbing the grave. Height 1.84 m, maximum width 0.50 m, thickness 0.20 m.

Translation: “In the year 17 since King Artaxerxes the Satrap Rasakes (Rosakes) made the k[” [six lines untranslatable] “And whoever penetrates/violates this [installation…]” [followed by one missing line with a curse against the violator]. (Melchert)

Comments
“The provincial rendering of traditional east Greek or western Anatolian elements probably represents a fourth-century loosening of the formal type, here manifested with a local, Lydian twist” (Roosevelt 2009, 160). For narrow cloth or hair strands hanging from the heads of female figures on two other grave stelai from Sardis (Hanfmann and Ramage 1978, 157 no. 233 fig. 403; Ramage 1979, 92). The year of the stele is probably 342/1 BC; because the reference to Satrap Rasakas, evidently the Rosakes/Roisakes of Greek sources, who was active in the mid-fourth century, indicates that the Persian King is Artaxerxes III (reigned 358-338 BC) rather than the first two kings of that name.
Discussed
Melchert, “Lydian Language”; Baughan, “Lydian Burial Customs”
Bibliography
Gusmani and Akkan 2004; Roosevelt 2009, 159-160, 250-251.
Author
CHG