• latw-58-1
    Fragment of a terracotta sima or geison, with scroll/lyre. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Fragment of a terracotta sima or geison, with scroll/lyre

Date
Ca. 560-550 BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 4956
Inventory No.
4956
Sardis CATNUM
T60.002
Material
Terracotta
Object Type
Architectural Terracotta
Site
Sardis
Sector
PC
Trench
PC
Description
Terracotta fragment of a raking sima or geison; molded and painted with cream, dark sepia, and red-brown slips, showing parts of two primary motif zones, the more complete of which has a scroll or lyre motif, and a top or bottom border, which has a herringbone pattern. Background in cream, motifs in dark and red as follows. The paired S-shaped elements of the scroll/lyre are dark, terminate in red hemispherical roundels, are connected by narrow horizontal bars, and are accented at their meetings by dark petals, three where inner spirals diverge, elsewhere one. Red (?) petals extend from the outside of outer spirals. At one side is a narrow red vertical bar, which separates the motif zones. Height 0.16 m, width 0.18 m, thickness 0.035 m.
Comments
Recovered from an extramural occupation quarter of Sardis (Excavation sector PC). The fragment belongs to a raking sima or geison, the decoration featuring two lyre/scroll motifs and two star motifs in alternating sequence; see No. 60. The type is common at Sardis (Shear 1926, 34-40 nos. 16-20, pl. XI, figs. 18-20; Åkerström 1966, 75-76 nos. 4-9, pls. 44 no. 2, 45 nos. 2-4; Ramage 1978, nos. 44, 47-50; Ratté 1994, 378-379) and elsewhere in western Asia Minor (notably at Gordion, where many examples have been recovered: Åkerström 1966, 147-148, pl. 83 no. 3). The lyre/scroll motif also occurs in variant designs elsewhere in western Anatolia (Gordion; Åkerström 1966, 148, 85 nos. 1, 2). The definition of No. 58 and of others at Sardis is crisper than many at Gordion.
Discussed
Ateşlier, “Architectural Terracottas”
Bibliography
Ramage 1978, 26-27, no. 43, fig. 87 (mislabeled no. 44).
Author
CHG