• r2-194-10
    Part of Corinthian pilaster (?), captial with figure of Anatolian goddess. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Pilaster Capital with Anatolian Goddess

2nd half of 2nd C. AD, Roman
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 6688
Museum Inventory No.
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Capital, Mythological Figure
B 58
B-Grid Coordinates
W5.1 / N21.3 *96.00
BSH 1.5 m. N of N jamb of arch “e4” and 2.5 m. W of the E wall, near floor level.

The capital is Corinthian, with volutes and acanthus leaves on a basically concave profile. At the center top is an image of a female goddess, a representation of an archaic statue. She wears a polos and a veil with an incised border, a necklace of large beads, and a shawl across her chest. Below are four or five vertical folds of a garment which then falls over the lower part of her body and legs in a series of triangular and U-shaped folds. Her feet can be seen projecting from under this skirt and resting on what appears to be a floral bud, part of the floral design of the capital. Her arms are held flat at the sides, covered by two heavy vertical folds which fall at the sides of the skirt. Behind her head is a crescent moon. On the face of the goddess, heavily damaged, can be seen traces of the mouth and one eye.

The image is based on a 7th C. B.C. type, with elements of both Greek and Hittite styles (especially the posture of the arms indicates the later). Her identification is uncertain but an Anatolian goddess of vegetation, possibly Kore, is almost assured. Discovery in B BSH indicates a terminus ante quem in the period of Lucius Verus (see Cat. 276 Fig. 469). The stop-and-go drill work on the acanthus leaves is typical of 2nd C. A.D. workmanship.


Grayish white marble, large crystals.

Top r. corner of capital preserved, to just l. of center. Back of this portion also intact. Bottom broken off. Battered at front and edges, tips of acanthus leaves missing. Traces of red paint in the background along the volutes.

W. at top 0.32; H. 0.235; Th. at corner 0.105; est. W. ca. 0.56.
See Also
Published: BASOR154, 33; Hanfmann-Detweiler, Sardis, Capital 1959, 926, fig. 15; Mercklin, Antike Figuralkapitelle, 191, no. 464, pl. 893; G.M.A. Hanfmann and M.S. Balmuth in Alkim, Anadolu Arastirmalari, 261ff., pls. 34-35, figs. 1-5 (full discussion and identification); Fleischer, Artemis von Ephesos, 187, 193ff., pl. 77. A figured capital from Laodicea of Lycus shows a draped woman in hieratic pose and frontal position, arms at her side. She wears a Dorian chiton and a veil. A crescent moon rises behind her head just as the one on our capital. She has been interpreted as Artemis-Hekate, and dated to the late 2nd or early 3rd C. A.D., Des Gagniers, Laodicée du Lycos, 210-212, pls. 84-85, esp. pl. 84:2.