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This webpage reproduces an article in
The Classical Journal
Vol. 10, No. 3 (Dec. 1914), pp99‑105.

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

p99 Archaeology in 1913. I
By George H. Chase
Harvard University

In 1913, as in 1912, wars and rumors of wars hampered the progress of archaeological exploration in classic lands, especially in the region of the eastern Mediterranean. Yet, even under the unfavorable conditions that prevailed, some work was done on most of the sites already in course of exploitation, several new enterprises were inaugurated, and a good deal was done in preparation for the future. In Macedonia the Greek government established an archaeological service, which has so far devoted its energies principally to the collection and preservation of scattered antiquities, with a view to the establishment of a Macedonian museum at Thessalonica. At Elassona, in the building formerly used as Turkish custom-house, a "Museum of Perrhaebia" was founded, in which, as early as July, 1913, no less than 132 sculptures and inscriptions had been brought together by Dr. Arvanitopoullos. In their new African possessions the Italians were busy with organization and exploration, and several discoveries were reported. The most important were a group of some twenty female figures and an Aphrodite Anadyomene which were found at Cyrene. The latter, which came to light near the famous fountain of Cyrene, is an excellent Roman copy of a fourth-century Greek original. Such discoveries only increase our regret that the work of the American expedition to Cyrene could not be continued. The Italian reports, so far as I have been able to discover, make no mention of the antiquities which were found by the Americans and left at Cyrene, but doubtless most of them will ultimately make their appearance in the new museum at Benghazi. Among other results of the recent wars in the eastern Mediterranean are the announcement that the German School at Athens is to explore the site of ancient Dodona and a report that Lieutenant Bakopoulous, in the course of military observations, noted on the sea bottom p100east of Lemnos the ruins of a submerged city some three miles in circumference. The spot is that marked "Pharos Bank" on the British admiralty charts, and the depth of water is from five to twenty-five meters. The Greek government is said to have ordered a careful investigation of the ruins.

In Asia Minor the most important excavations of the year were once more those conducted by Professor Butler at Sardis. In spite of the great depth of earth, a considerable area was cleared all about the temple, leaving it in the midst of a broad open space, by which the impressiveness of the ruins is greatly enhanced. The work was difficult in many ways. At a distance of less than a hundred feet from the eastern end of the temple the workmen came upon a mass of hard-packed earth and stones over forty feet high. This the geologist of the expedition declared to be, not an original formation, but a part of the acropolis hill, which had fallen, been redistributed, and hardened again, forming a steep slope opposite the façade of the building. The catastrophe probably occurred during the recorded earthquake of the year 17 A.D., for on the slope were foundations of Roman construction — for exedrae and other small structures — and fragments of pottery not earlier than the first century after Christ. On account of the unusual hardness of this mass of débris it was impossible to push the excavation farther toward the east and southeast during the campaign of 1913. Further, on the north side of the temple and toward its eastern end, a massive structure of Roman concrete was encountered which effectively prevented any examination of the lower levels in its vicinity. The largest area, therefore, was cleared along the south side of the temple, where little was found except poor foundations of a late date and a mediaeval Byzantine cemetery, and north of the western end of the building, where several early foundations and bases of monuments were discovered, together with important remains of sculpture. On one of the bases was a short dedication in Lydian and Greek, the first bilingual of this character that has been discovered, and the sculptures included two lions and an eagle of marble carved in an unusual archaic manner which is very surely to be called Lydian. The minor objects from the excavation about the temple included other fragments p101of sculpture, architectural details, especially a corner acroterium of the temple, many fragments of vases, and a large number of coins, among them a hoard of sixty tetradrachms of the Hellenistic period in a remarkably good state of preservation.

Even more important than these discoveries in the temple area were the results of further work in the necropolis. Several of the tombs that were opened in 1913 were exceedingly rich, especially in pottery of local manufacture, in gold jewelry, and in seals of the so‑called Greco-Persian class. The latter have now been found in such numbers at Sardis that it seems probable that the whole class should really be called Lydian. All the gold objects from Sardis are now exhibited together in the Imperial Ottoman Museum at Constantinople, where they form a most impressive collection, well fitted to confirm the tradition of the wealth of Lydia, especially when one considers that these are for the most part merely what was overlooked or neglected by those who cleared the tombs for re-use in the Persian, Greek, and Roman periods or plundered them in the later days of antiquity.

Finally, mention should be made of a most important discovery for the history of sculpture — a sarcophagus of the so‑called Sidamara type, which was found outside the main excavation near the road at the northern edge of the Roman city. It is badly broken, but largely preserved. On the cover are two reclining female figures and the inscription ΚΛ · ΑΝΤ · ΣΑΒΕΙΝΗΣ. The front and the ends are divided into niches by twisted columns with composite capitals and in each niche is carved a single figure, after the manner of this class of sarcophagi. The great interest of the monument lies in the fact that the inscription and the style of the figures on the cover seem to place it in the second century after Christ, much earlier than the Sidamara sarcophagi have been dated before.

Of work at Pergamum and at Samos in 1913 I have seen no accounts. At Ephesus the Austrians carefully examined the so‑called Double Church, and succeeded in distinguishing four periods in the history of this building, or rather group of buildings. The earliest ruins belong to a large structure, some 265 × 32 meters, containing at the eastern and western ends large rooms with raised p102apses and between these apartments a long colonnaded court. This is thought to have been the Μουσεῖον of Ephesus, as several inscriptions were found recording names of victors in the medical contests which were held annually by the doctors of the Ephesus "Museum." In the western part of this building, probably in the first half of the fourth century after Christ, was built a basilica church with three aisles, with which, but outside the limits of the Μουσεῖον, were connected a narthex, a court surrounded by colonnades, and a baptistry. This is identified as the Church of St. Mary, in which the Ecumenical Council was held in 431. Then, apparently in the sixth century, a smaller domed brick church, of which the columns are still preserved, was constructed; and finally, at a much later period, a small basilica with three aisles was built between the brick church and eastern end of the first basilica, the apse of which was still in existence. This latest church also had a narthex, to which entrance was obtained by cutting a door in the wall of the apse of the brick church.

At Miletus the Germans were busy for the most part with the final clearing of buildings already excavated and with making plans and photographs for their publication,1 but found time to dig more extensively at two places. In the western part of the city, near the temple of Athena, a large Roman tomb of late imperial times, showing many peculiar architectural forms, was cleared; and near the Northern Market a small Byzantine church, which had been partially examined the year before, was completely uncovered. It proved to be built on the foundations of a small Hellenistic temple, and inscriptions showed that it was dedicated to St. Michael.

At Didyma the cella of the great temple of Apollo was completely freed of débris. In the course of the work numerous blocks of the architrave and capitals of the pilasters which decorated the walls of the chamber were recovered, and it was shown that this part of the temple was never completed. The early Byzantine church of which I spoke in my last report was found to have been p103a basilica with three aisles, very carelessly built. The columns had been taken from different earlier buildings and some had been placed upside down. In front of the narthex of the church were remains of a small baptistry, square in plan, with apses on three sides. It is expected that one more campaign will be sufficient to finish the excavation of this great building, which is already one of the most impressive ruins in the Greek world.

As the work on the older sites in Asia Minor is thus drawing to a close, it is interesting to note the beginning of several new enterprises. Mr. F. Sartiaux, well known as a traveler in these regions through his Villes mortes d'Asie Mineure, was commissioned by the French Ministry of Public Instruction to examination the neighborhood of Palaia Phokia, the supposed site of ancient Phocaea, at the entrance to the Gulf of Smyrna. Trial trenches at fifteen different points proved conclusively that this is the site of the ancient Ionian city, not the near-by village of Nea Phokia, and showed the possibilities for more excavation. Even in his short stay of less than two months Mr. Sartiaux found numerous tombs and sarcophagi, eighteen marble blocks from an ancient gateway flanked by Corinthian columns (this in the mediaeval walls of the town), coins, inscriptions, and vase fragments. In his report he strongly recommends a thorough exploration. As Phocaea was the mother-city of Marseille, the enterprise is one that should appeal to Frenchmen.

Farther south, Messrs. Mendel and Pickard, representing the Imperial Ottoman Museum and the French School at Athens, began work at the site of the temple of Apollo of Clarus, near Notium, the port of Colophon. In a comparatively short time they laid bare the ruins of a propylon and an exedra, both of which were covered with inscriptions. Though the site is so low that the ruins, like those of Miletus, are covered with water during a large part of the year, it is expected that the work will be continued.

Two other members of the French School, acting under a commission from the Ministry of Public Instruction, took up once more the investigation of the ruins of Aphrodisias, which was begun by the French in 1904 and 1905. Their campaign of a little more than a month and a half was devoted to the most conspicuous p104monument of this Carian city, the Great Thermae. The earlier excavations had shown that the building had an unusual plan, consisting of five large halls placed side by side, with a colonnaded court at the eastern end. Further exploration revealed the existence of a corresponding court at the west. The principal entrance was at the west end, not at the east, as had been thought, for the so‑called "Monumental Gateway" at the east was shown to be closed by a wall. The plan of the large central hall was found to resemble that of the frigidarium of the Baths of Caracalla at Rome, though the dimensions are smaller (some 30.60 × 19 meters). The newly discovered inscriptions agreed with those found earlier in dating the building in the reign of Hadrian and showed that in the eastern court, at least, the cost of the entablature was defrayed by the treasury of Aphrodite (whose temple is still largely preserved), that of the columns by wealthy citizens of Aphrodisias. The magnificence of the completed edifice is attested by fragments of the slabs of different colored marbles with which the walls were incrusted and by traces of mosaic on the blocks of the vault of the "Monumental Gateway." In view of recent events, the renewal of French activity in Asia Minor, where the Germans have for several years enjoyed a sort of archaeological monopoly, seems almost prophetic.

Among the islands, Chios, perhaps, deserves first place. The establishment of Greek rule was signalized by the beginning of excavations under the supervision of Mr. Kourouniotes. On the southern coast the precinct and temple of Apollo Phanaeus (cf. Strabo, XIV, p645) were partially excavated. The peribolos wall, carefully built of large stones, was found to be quite well preserved, but of the temple little remains. The little that was found showed that the temple was of the Ionic order and resembled in certain respects the Samian Heraeum. The principal smaller finds were geometric potsherds in the earth in front of the temple and, in a projecting angle of the wall, some sixty drachms and diobols of Chios of fifth-century types. At some little distance parts of a second Ionic temple of the archaic period came to light. Further, near the marble quarries, which were used in ancient and in modern times, several graves of the fifth century were opened; these contained p105sarcophagi of the Clazomenian type. As the period of excavation was only a month and a half, these results are certainly encouraging.

At Knossos Sir Arthur Evans sank some ninety pits under pavements and floor levels in the great palace and obtained much new information in regard to stratification and details of the Minoan classification. Incidentally the earliest palace "keep" is said to have been discovered in the neighborhood of the deep-walled pits, which were known before, and good fragments of frescoes came from the East Light Well and the Hall of the Double Axes.

The British School at Athens undertook in June the complete excavation of the famous Kamares Cave on Mount Ida, from which the now familiar Kamares ware of the Middle Minoan period takes its name. Quantities of Middle Minoan pottery and a few fragments of Late Minoan I ware came to light, but no traces of a shrine such as there was every reason to expect.

At Tylissos Dr. Hatzidakes is said to have continued work at the Minoan site discovered in 1909 (Classical Journal, VI, 69 f., and VII, 68 f.) with excellent results, but of these excavations I have seen only a very brief notice.

[To be continued]


The Author's Note:

1 Milet, Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899, herausgegeben von Theodor Wiegand. III, 1, Der Latmos, was published during the year.


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