• latw-168-10
    Silver phiale. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-168-15
    Silver phiale. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-168-20
    Silver phiale, view from bottom. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-168-30
    Silver phiale. Detail of male heads. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-168-50
    Silver phiale. Detail of male heads. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Silver phiale

Late 6th or early 5th c BC, Late Lydian (Persian)
Uşak, Archaeological Museum, 1.32.96
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Uşak 1.32.96
Object Type
Metalwork Type
Metal Vessel
Ikiztepe Tumulus
The deep shouldered bowl has an offset lip, outturned at the rim, and a shallow omphalos with a centering mark on the underside. Spaced evenly around the upper zone of the wall are eighteen male heads, and the lower zone is decorated with seventy-two engraved tongues, bordered around the top by a ring of punched circles. The heads are hollow, made separately and fitted in grooves, the lip around the outer edge folded and hammered down over a flange around the lobe, as with Özgen and Öztürk 1996, nos. 33, 35 and 37. Each face has slanting eyes, prominent eyebrows curving down into a broad nose with large nostrils, and a drooping mustache which curls up at the ends above a well-formed lower lip. Low on the forehead is a fringe of hair with spiral curls at the center. The lower part of the head is long and pointed in the shape of a beard. The hair of the fringe, eyebrows and mustache is marked by ridges, but the beard is plain and smooth. When the bowl is moved, tiny bronze pellets inside the head create a rattling sound. The heads are linked by engraved, highly stylized floral motifs. Three engraved tongues are below the stylized floral motifs between the heads. Around the carination of the shoulder is stamped a band of square rosettes. The underside of the omphalos is lightly scored with lines radiating from its center, a continuation of the engraved tongues on the wall of the vessel. On the shoulder is stamped a single rosette, as if the silversmith had suddenly changed his mind about creating a band of rosettes as is seen on Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 36.

There is no known close parallel to this vessel, although the shape and outline of the heads can be compared with the gilt tear-shaped lobes of Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 33, and a silver phiale bearing Persian heads is listed in a Delian temple inventory of a later date. A shallow silver phiale from a tomb of the Seven Brothers tumulus group in the Kuban, South Russia, has an inside ring of closely-spaced satyr heads around the omphalos” (adapted from Özgen and Öztürk 1996). Height 0.062 m, diameter at rim 0.126 m, diameter of body 0.116 m, weight 243.3 g.

This phiale and a similar one (Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 37) were allegedly found in Chamber 2 of Ikiztepe Tumulus, one on each of the two klinai.
See Also
Özgen, “Lydian Treasure”; Baughan, “Lydian Burial Customs”.
Özgen and Öztürk 1996, no. 37.