• latw-13-1
    Sandstone lion from Altar of Cybele, Pactolus North. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-13-2
    Sandstone lions from Altar of Cybele, Pactolus North, Nos. 13-14 and Sardis S67.16:7354. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Sandstone Lion from Altar of Cybele, Pactolus North

Date
Ca. 570-560 BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 5782
Inventory No.
5782
Sardis CATNUM
S67.032
Material
Sandstone, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture
Sculpture Type
Animal
Site
Sardis
Sector
PN
Trench
PN
Locus
PN Locus Cybele Altar
Description
One of two and one-half sandstone lion sculptures that were set up on the corners of the Altar of Cybele in the gold refining area at Sardis (Sector PN; see Greenewalt, “Gold and Silver Refining”). Lion on low plinth, open roaring mouth showing tongue and teeth. Eyes not preserved. Fragile, burned, and eroded. Height 0.34 m, length 0.485 m, width 0.22 m.
Comments
The two and one-half lions are all that remains of presumably four lions, which belonged to the first phase of the altar. This lion was built into the southeast corner. In a subsequent phase, the altar was built over and the lions built into the later walls. The lions are presumably placed on the altar because they were sacred to Cybele, the goddess to whom the altar was dedicated.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Gods of Lydia”; Greenewalt, “Gold and Silver Refining”
Bibliography
Hanfmann and Ramage 1978, no. 28.
Author
NDC