• latw-55-1
    “Animal Style” chapes from Sardis (Nos. 54, 55). No 55: Bone inlay decorated with two birds' heads. (Photograph by Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr.)
  • latw-55-2
    Watercolor drawing of a bone inlay, decorated with two birds' heads. (Watercolor by Crawford H. Greenewalt, jr.)

Bone inlay, decorated with two birds’ heads

Date
Ca. 625-580 BC?, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 5351
Inventory No.
5351
Sardis CATNUM
BI61.027
Material
Bone
Object Type
Bone and Ivory
Site
Sardis
Sector
HoB
Trench
HoB
Description
Bone plaque, round. The front side has an arcuated profile and shows two birds’ heads with large bills, the lower bill of one adjoining the upper bill of the other, occupying ca. two-thirds of the surface. Heads emerge from the straight border of an “exergue.” Round eyes are defined by incised circles and indented dots. One bill is more curved than the other; it encloses a circular space, approximately the same size as the eyes, with a central indented dot. The back side is flat, with a central cylindrical attachment tenon. Diameter 0.025 m, tenon 0.005 m high, 0.0075 m in diameter.
Comments
Recovered from an extramural occupation quarter at Sardis (excavation sector HoB) located ca. 30-70 m outside the western lower city defenses (the same quarter in which No. 54 was recovered). Confronted birds’ heads with large bills and abstract features are common in “nomadic animal style” art. See comment on No. 54. Scythian or Cimmerian, according to Ivantchik.
Discussed
Dusinberre, “Ivories”; Greenewalt, “Introduction”
Bibliography
Greenewalt 1973b, 33-34, fig. 11; Greenewalt et al. 1990, 166-167, figs. 34-37; Ivantchik 2001, 74-75.
Author
CHG