• r2-272-5
    Marble block with inscription in unknown language. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-272-10
    Marble block with inscription in unknown language. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • r2-272-20
    Marble block with inscription in unknown language. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Marble Block with Inscription in Unknown Language

Date
5th-4th C. BC?, Late Lydian (Persian)
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
IN63.141
Material
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture, Inscription
Inscription Type
Inscription language
Unknown
Sculpture Type
Inscription of lost statue
Inscription Text
Text is in an unknown language.
Inscription Translation
Inscription Comment
Site
Sardis
Sector
Syn
Trench
Syn 63
Locus
Syn MH Spolia
B-Grid Coordinates
*97.5 - 97
Findspot
Found toppled from NW corner of pier S4, in Syn MH; see Fig. 5. It was part of the pier.
Description

"There is no evidence for any covering of the inscription; no remnants of stucco nor mortar revetment backing nor revetment pin holes were observed anywhere on the piers. On the evidence, the inscription was visible when reused" (A.R. Seager, by letter, July 7, 1975).Marble. Whitmore: compares with Sardis MD quarry group A.

Rough-trimmed for secondary use and damaged on I. side, top, and back. R. side and r. side of face also damaged.P.H. 0.885; W. at top 0.28, at bottom 0.375; D. 1.12.Found toppled from NW corner of pier S4, in Syn MH; see Fig. 5. It was part of the pier.The rectangular marble block has drafted edges on the r. and I. sides of the face (P. on I. 0.01; P. at lowest part on r. 0.04). The block flares outward to form a simple profile of footing (vertical, then convex half torus). An inscription of 12 (or 13) lines is on the face. The finish on the r. side shows that the block is from the r. end of the original monument; a similar block may have been at the I. end.

Gusmani ( Sardis M3, 118) proposes that the monument was not a statue base but an altar (for possible statuary arrangement, see supra Ch. III). The fine workmanship is not likely to be earlier than the late 6th C. B.C. Gusmani says that "the writing recalls the finest examples of Lydian marble inscriptions of the 'classical' period," though the lack of vertical alignment of the letters may favor the earlier part (5th C. B.C.). He states that nothing can be surmised about the possible content.

Dimensions
P.H. 0.885; W. at top 0.28, at bottom 0.375; D. 1.12.
Comments
See Also
Bibliography
Published: Gusmani, Sardis M3, 116-132, figs. 67-76, with detailed discussion of inscription. For circumstances of the find see BASOR 174, 34, figs. 18, 31.
Author
NHR