• latw-49-10
    Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a wild goat, unfinished. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-49-20
    Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a wild goat, front. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-49-30
    Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a wild goat, rear view. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Bridle attachment (?) in the form of a wild goat, unfinished

Ca. 580-540 BC, Lydian
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 5350
Inventory No.
Object Type
Metalwork Type
Bronze (for the composition, Waldbaum 1983b, 67), with many surface pocks of irregular form. Solid cast. The front side shows recumbent wild goat to left, with head reversed, beard curving forward over back and upper haunch, and legs folded underneath, the lower foreleg tucked over the hind hoof. The eye is clearly defined. Background metal occurs in the enclosed spaces between neck and horn and between neck, beard, and back; and in an irregular flange at top, front, and back exterior edges. The back side has in the center two vertical projecting loops. “Running across the back between and under the loops is a flat, shallow, horizontal depression” (Waldbaum 1983b, 67). Maximum length 0.053 m, maximum height 0.042 m.
Recovered from an extramural occupation quarter at Sardis (excavation sector HoB). As noted with No. 48, similar recumbent wild goats with heads reversed occur on bronze and ivory Riemenkreuzungen, cited in Waldbaum 1983, 41 and Waldbaum 1983b. The stance may be derived from “nomadic animal style,” but the absence of abstract features (like those on a bone example from Ephesus; Hogarth et al 1908, 163, 176-177 no. 23, pl. XXI, indicates that No. 49 is not a true example of that style; it is identified as “pseudomadisch” by Ivantchik. The widely spaced horn ridges that may be recognized on No. 49 (ed. this item) and the inward turn of the horn tip, which also appear on comparanda (Waldbaum 1983b, 68-69) as well as on wild goats of East Greek orientalizing pottery, identify the animal on this item as a wild goat (Capra aegagrus) rather than as the closely similar ibex (Capra ibex), which has a different habitat; see Kinch 1914, 267-268; Nievergelt 1986, esp. 367, 369-371 (for wild goat); 384, 386, 391 (for ibex). The flat horizontal depression in the back “could serve to hold a strap threaded under the loops” (Waldbaum 1983b, 67). The exterior flange of background metal indicates that No. 49 is unfinished, “perhaps because of casting flaws” (Waldbaum 1983b, 67); and unfinished condition indicates that it was locally made.
Greenewalt, “Horsemanship”
Waldbaum 1983a, 41, no. 87, pl. 6; Waldbaum 1983b; Ivantchik 2001, 82, 84, 87, fig. 37, no. 1.