• latw-116-1
    “Ephesian Ware” omphalos phiale from Ephesus. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-116-10
    “Ephesian Ware” omphalos phiale from Ephesus. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

“Ephesian Ware” omphalos phiale fragment from Ephesus

Second half of the 7th c BC, around 640–620 BC, Lydian
Selcuk, Ephesus Museum, 80/54/88
Museum Inventory No.
Object Type
Pottery Shape
Omphalos Phiale
Pottery Ware
Ephesian Ware
Pottery Attribution
Curved body fragment of a thin walled hemispherical bowl (Ephesus excavation inventory ART 88 K 1.1); the central boss (omphalos) and the straight rim are not preserved. Bichrome decoration painted in dark chocolate brown and reddish brown on a thick, creamy white slip of extraordinary smoothness reminding one of the quality of porcelain. Both the inside and the outside are decorated with large volutes fringed by stripes with fine dots. Confronted volutes are connected by fine lines framing cross-hatched rectangles or trapezoids. On the interior, the connection of volutes is crowned by palmettes with round leaves, on the exterior, we find instead a sequence of small, simplified lotus buds and flowers. On the exterior, too, a small remnant of a framing band below is preserved, consisting of two narrow lines framing a series of spaced squares, one of which, at least, was filled with a criss-cross left blank in a solid quadrangle. Both potting and painting of this omphalos bowl show a unique skill and a remarkable rigor, so that No. 116 ranges among the best examples known of “Ephesian Ware.” Maximum preserved height 3.7 cm, maximum preserved width 5.9 cm, thickness of the wall 0.35 cm.
Found at the site of an apsidal building, which is situated in front of the Archaic marble dipteros of Artemis, called Croesus’ temple after its prominent donor. The apsidal structure, however, belongs to an earlier stratum and thus antedates the monumental temple. It was erected in the late seventh century BC. Its function is still unexplained. The fragment No. 116 was excavated in a sandy layer below the floor level of the apsidal building.
See Also
Greenewalt, “Lydian Pottery”.
Bammer 1991b, 128 pl. 30a; M. Kerschner in Seipel 2008, 233 cat. no. 285. On the deposit: Bammer 1991b, 128, pl. 29a (“Apsidalhaus”). On the date of the apsidal building: Weissl 2002, 316, fig. 1, 14.