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This webpage reproduces an article in
The Classical Journal
Vol. 11, No. 4 (Jan. 1916), pp196‑207.

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!

p196 Archaeology in 1914
By George H. Chase
Harvard University

To search for news of archaeology in 1914 seems at first sight like looking for snakes in Ireland, so accustomed have we become to thinking of 1914 as "the war year." But the war and the consequent rupture of international relations, though they overshadow all the other events of the year, did not begin until August. During the spring, excavation went on as usual, and even in the fall some work was possible; so that there is, after all, a considerable amount of archaeological news for the year 1914.

In Asia Minor, the fifth campaign at Sardis was devoted to the further clearing of the space around the temple and to the exploration of more tombs in the great necropolis. The space around the temple proved comparatively barren. The most interesting objects found there were a long Lydian inscription and a group of late Christian graves found at some distance from the southern side of the temple (several of these yielded stones with Greek inscriptions which had been used as building material); and, on the northern side, an inscription with a reference to the priests of Zeus, whose temple is believed to be somewhere to the northeast, a colossal marble face and parts of another colossal head, and architectural fragments on a smaller scale than that of the temple, which probably come from small buildings in the northern part of the sacred precinct. In the temple itself, excavation in the western part of the cella, below the level of the present (fourth-century) structure, brought to light parts of the foundations of an earlier temple.

The most important discoveries of the year, however, were made in a new trench which was dug some distance to the north of the area hitherto excavated. Here the foundation wall of a long stoa which bounded the sacred precinct on the north came to light, and near it undisturbed Lydian layers which go back at least to the ninth century B.C. Great quantities of potsherds were found, which p197make it possible to trace the ceramic history of Sardis more completely than has been possible from the vases found in the tombs or the deposits about the temple. In the last days of the campaign, near the western end of the stoa, were found the finest fragments of sculpture that have yet come from Sardis, a beautifully modeled horse's head and three hands and a sandaled foot of equally fine workmanship — good omens for the continuation of work in this direction.

The tombs, as usual, yielded many important small objects. Among the most interesting were two well-preserved lanterns of terra cotta, several beautiful gold necklaces, and three lions of archaic style, carved in the round from nuggets of gold and set on small plaques, as if they were intended to be riveted or sewn to some article of dress. One unusual tomb has the form of a pyramid. Seven steps are preserved, with traces of a chamber on the level of the seventh. The original form may have been a complete pyramid of some fourteen steps or a seven-stepped base surmounted by a chamber, like the so‑called Tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadae. An attempt to open two of the great tumuli at Bin Tepe, in spite of several weeks of tunneling and burrowing, brought absolutely no results, and it is clear that only great good fortune or the removal of enormous quantities of earth can succeed in revealing the secrets of these famous Lydian tombs.

Of German work at Pergamum, Miletus, and Didyma I have seen no accounts, and as the German campaigns in recent years have generally been conducted in the fall, it is probable that nothing was undertaken. The third volume of the publication of the excavations at Miletus, Das Delphinion in Milet, by G. Kawerau and A. Rehm, appeared in the spring of 1914. The greater part of it is devoted to the large number of interesting inscriptions which were found in the Delphinion.

A brief account of the campaign of 1913 at Pergamum, which has been published since my last report, mentions especially a well-preserved ramp, which led up to the eastern end of the gymnasium from the main roadway to the acropolis. At the point where it left the roadway a monumental gate in good preservation was found, dating, like the ramp itself, from the second p198century B.C. Above the ramp, in the ruins of a Hellenistic house, were remains of a potter's workshop, including the lower part of a kiln and numerous molds and fragments of relief ware. This discovery ought to prove of great importance for the difficult problems connected with the development of Greek relief wares in the Hellenistic period.

At Phocaea Mr. Sartiaux continued in the spring of 1914 the excavations which he began in the previous year; and when the work was stopped early in June by a great massacre of the Greek inhabitants of the surrounding region by the Turks, he succeeded in protecting several hundred Greeks and helped many to escape to Mitylene.

From the Aegean islands there is not much to report. Since the Italian occupation of Rhodes, Dr. Pernier, the director of the Italian School at Athens, has conducted a careful surface exploration of the island, and in 1914 two members of the school undertook preliminary excavations at Camirus and Ialysus, which resulted in the discovery of several tombs. On Monte Smith (the acropolis of Rhodes) some thirty small altars with inscriptions were found. Dr. Kinch, whose investigations in Rhodes were stopped by the Italian occupation, published during the year a full report of one portion of his work, under the title Fouilles de Vroulia. The greater part of the book is concerned with vases and other objects from an early settlement at the southern end of the island, and it is an important contribution to the study of the Ionic vases of the seventh century and later.

At Thasos the excavations of the French School were carried farther in the summer of 1913 and the spring of 1914. In the earlier campaign, the large building with which the well-known reliefs in the Louvre were associated1 was found to be the Prytaneum; another large building, measuring some one hundred feet on each side, which was apparently built for public assemblies in the fourth or the third century B.C., was partially excavated; several parts of the city wall, with towers and gateways, were further investigated; and many sculptures and small objects were recovered, including coins, bronzes, stamped amphora handles, p199and terra cottas, especially terra cotta gutter tiles of Ionic style from the Prytaneum, with very lively archaic figures of horsemen, dogs, hares, and flying eagles in relief. In 1914, the stylobate of a Doric temple and the torso of a colossal "Apollo" were found. In this year, also, some members of the expedition crossed over to Macedonia and investigated the ruins of Philippi. They report the discovery of a theater, larger than the theater at Athens; many hitherto unknown inscriptions and rock-cut reliefs in the small sanctuaries on the slopes of the acropolis; traces of a large building, perhaps a temple; an altar, dedicated to Isis; and a good many small objects.

The excavations of the French School at Delos were devoted to the region of Mount Cynthus, especially to the two sacred ways which led up to the two summits of the hill,2 the small sanctuaries and niches that bordered them, and the two sanctuaries at the top, dedicated to Zeus Cynthius and Athena Cynthia.

It is announced that the antiquities from most of the islands acquired by Greece after the recent war with Turkey are being transferred to Mitylene, where a large central museum is planned. An exception has been made in the case of Thasos, where the public collection of antiquities, already considerable, has been largely augmented by gifts to the Greek government and by the results of the French excavations.

In Crete, Mr. Seager excavated a Minoan cemetery on the shore near his house at Pachys Ammos, where a flood during the winter undermined the beach and revealed some of the graves. The burials here were of the type called pithos burials; the bodies had been placed in holes scooped in the sand, and covered by inverted pithoi. Near Psychro the British School examined a Late Minoan site near the modern village of Plati. Foundations of three large blocks of buildings, arranged on the sides of an open square, were discovered; one of them had a double portico, with square bases for the columns, and an open courtyard. Above were remains of Greek houses of the archaic period, which, however, showed no relation to the Minoan houses and lie across the open square, proving that some years must have elapsed between the time of p200the Minoan inhabitants and that of the Greeks. Finally, just east of Candia, at a village called Gournes, Dr. Hatzidakis discovered some remains of a prehistoric settlement, with graves of Early Minoan date and four Late Minoan chamber tombs.

The work of the American School at Corinth produced more important results than have rewarded the excavators for several years. Excavations were conducted for several weeks both in the spring and in the fall. The most important discoveries were made in the neighborhood of a long wall which runs north and south some distance southeast of Pirene, and was probably the eastern boundary wall of the Greek market-place. East of this, at a distance of about twenty feet, another wall was built in Roman times, forming a chamber. In this were found several portrait statues of great interest. One, a portrait of a young man, somewhat over life-size (it is 1.98 meters high), is almost perfectly preserved. Another, less well-preserved, resembles the first in proportions and looks as if it had been made as a pendant to it. The features in both cases suggest the Julian family, and the statues have been very plausibly identified as portraits of Gaius and Lucius Caesar, the grandsons and adopted sons of Augustus. A third figure, although it is preserved only from the neck to the knees, is a fine example of Roman portrait in armor; it has on the breastplate a gorgoneion, and, below this, two Victories setting up a trophy. A perfectly preserved head from a statue represents an emperor as priest, with his robe drawn over his head. The features suggest Augustus or Tiberius, and the head probably represents one of those emperors, although the slight beard which is indicated on the cheeks is unusual.3

In addition to the work at Corinth, the school conducted excavations in and around the Erechtheum, with a view to settling a number of disputed points that had arisen in connection with the forthcoming book on this important temple. As not infrequently happens in such cases, the excavations settled some questions and raised others with which the editors of the volume must wrestle. It also brought to light a number of fragments of inscriptions and a Mycenaean seal.

p201 Of other work in Athens I have seen few accounts. The Greek Society, in an endeavor to find the Odeum of Pericles, cleared a small area among the houses on the southeast slope of the Acropolis, and Mr. Kastriotis, who superintended the work, was certain that he had found the site, at least, of the Odeum. His evidence, however, is not very convincing. The rock had been leveled for a large building, and above the leveled space was a thick deposit of ashes and charcoal and many burned roof-tiles of terra cotta, such as would result from the burning of a large wooden building. In the so‑called Valerian wall, which crosses the site, are fragments of seats, one of which may come from the Odeum, though most are probably from the Dionysiac theater. One of the wall discovered may be part of the foundations of the skene. A portrait head which was found in the course of the excavations, Mr. Kastriotis suggests, may represent Ariobarzanes Philopator, king of Cappadocia, who rebuilt the Odeum after it was destroyed during the siege of Athens by Sulla,4 and he points out that the inscribed column drum from the theater of Dionysus with a record of the gratitude of the Athenians to their benefactor Ariobarzanes5 probably formed part of the interior colonnade of the Odeum. All this, to the unprejudiced eye, looks very "thin," and it is to be hoped that further investigation will bring more conclusive evidence.

During the spring, further exploration of the Street of Tombs by the Germans resulted in a number of interesting discoveries. Two new stones, marked ΟΡΟΣ ΚΕΡΑΜΕΙΚΟΥ, one found in situ, determine the line of the roadway and show that it was originally some thirty-eight meters wide, a most imposing street, with the tombs on either side. Behind the larger "family lots" of the fifth and fourth centuries was a common burying-ground, the level of which was raised several times for further burials. Débris from ruined houses in this region is thought to come from the havoc wrought by the siege of Siege. A large and elaborate tomb dating from the middle of the fourth century is tentatively identified as that of the general Chabrias, who died in 357 B.C. In the third century after Christ, when the level of the ground was some ten feet above the level in the fourth century, the p202width of the street was much diminished by buildings erected in front of the older ones and made largely of materials taken from them; and in early Christian times a late Roman building was taken for a community burial place, each family being allotted a space about three feet deep. The small objects found include many vases and lamps. The most interesting single object was an inscribed potsherd used in the ostracism of Damon, son of Damonides, the friend of Pericles. Even in the fall the Germans are said to have continued work in this region. One cannot help suspecting that this was undertaken as a part of that program of impressing the Greeks with the invincibility of Germany which has produced such unfortunate results in Greek political life.

Two interesting minor items of news from Athens are that the Turkish mosque in the Monastiraki Square is being restored and arranged for use as a Byzantine museum, and that the Italian School has begun to issue the Annuario della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e della Missione Italiana in Oriente.

At Halae in Locris, Miss Walker and Miss Goldman devoted their attention especially to the walls of the acropolis. On the northern, southern, and western sides of the hill, the earliest wall was laid bare throughout its entire length. It is built in polygonal masonry, and may be dated before 600 B.C.; the fragments of vases found in the interstices were all painted in the geometric style. In the northern wall a well-preserved gateway was discovered, from which a paved street could be traced to the center of town, and outside a road lined with graves. On the eastern side of the hill this early wall was replaced about 400 B.C. by a wall of squared blocks. In this an eastern gateway, flanked by towers, is remarkably well preserved, together with some forty meters of a road which led from the town on this side; and at the southeast corner are remains of another gateway, with a Doric propylon facing toward the city, over which, in the fourth or the third century, was raised a large tower. Near this was found a base with an inscription recording a dedication made by the people of Halae to Athena — the first bit of direct evidence that this is really the site of Halae. Inside the gateway was a large paved square, and here were found many traces of an early sanctuary, architectural fragments, the p203upper part of a female figure similar to the statue of Nicandra, the torso of an archaic "Apollo," the lower part of a seated found which recalls the well-known statues from Branchidae, part of a large group in terra cotta which included figures of men and horses, and many smaller objects, such as archaic terra cotta figurines, bronze fibulae, rings, and bracelets.

At Delphi, Mr. Courby, of the French School, continued the careful study of the temple of Apollo which he began in 1913. His most startling discovery was made late in 1913, in the neighborhood of the adyton — an omphalos of poros with a square hole in the top, from which projects an iron rod, perhaps for the attachment of two figures of eagles. The stone bears an inscription in very early characters, probably of the seventh century, which the discoverer interprets as the sacred Ε of the Delphians, followed by Γᾶ.

In the Peloponnesus, the Germans went on with their exploration of Tiryns and the Austrians resumed work at Elis. At the former site, examination of the northern part of the hill showed that the wall of defense which surrounds this part of the citadel was of late Mycenaean date. Under a part of it were found the ruins of a house in which only comparatively late Mycenaean pottery appeared. As the excavations of 1913 showed the late date of the walls of the southern end of the hill, it now seems clear that all the great cyclopean wall, which has always been thought to be of very early date, was really constructed toward the end of the Mycenaean period. The remains of very early houses, with round or elliptical plans, which were discovered under the palace in earlier campaigns, have been covered up again. Part of those discovered on the northern part of the hill are to be left visible. One interesting "find" in this region was a potter's kiln of late Mycenaean date.

The Austrians at Elis had but little better success than in their earlier campaigns. Ruins of a few more buildings, none of which could be surely identified, were cleared, as well as numerous graves. The stage building of the theater was found; it showed two periods of construction, the earlier, Hellenistic. But trial trenches dug from the stage building failed to strike any traces of stone seats. p204The whole site appears to have been thoroughly plundered for building-stones during the Middle Ages.

At Corfu, Dr. Dörpfeld continued his excavations for the German Emperor. The ruins of the "temple of the Gorgon" were completely uncovered. In many places even the foundation walls have disappeared, but the size of the temple can be determined roughly as 23.80 × 48.95 meters. Seven triglyphs, three metopes, and several blocks from the top course of the cella wall were found, and also two fragments of reliefs in limestone, which, Dr. Dörpfeld argues, come from the pronaos, either from triglyphs or from a continuous frieze. On the better preserved of the two, part of a figure of a warrior appears. The type is quite unusual, with armor on both forearm and upper arm. A well-carved marble antefix Dr. Dörpfeld assigns to a reconstruction of the roof in the sixth century, and fragments of a large terra cotta sima come, he thinks, from an earlier temple with an entablature of wood. Heavy foundations found north of the temple probably served as a basis for votive monuments. A stele built into a later wall in this neighborhood bears the inscription Μέντις Ἀριστέα Ἀρτάμιτι, and shows that the temple was dedicated to Artemis.

In the park of Monrepos, investigation of the plateau which has commonly thought to represent the acropolis of the ancient city of Corcyra revealed parts of a boundary wall and a fountain house, as well as portions of a temple of limestone with a marble sima, which may be dated on grounds of style about 400 B.C. Here also fragments of a terra cotta sima, decorated with Gorgon's heads and lion's heads of archaic style, point to an earlier wooden temple. Further excavation of the prehistoric settlement on Cape Kephali6 showed that very few remains had been preserved, but Dr. Dörpfeld is still convinced that the city of Alcinoüs is to be sought in this region.

Owing to the late entry of Italy into the war, conditions throughout the peninsula were little disturbed during the entire year. Many tombs of different periods were discovered, as usual, in many different places; the more extensive operations on the Palatine, at Pompeii, and at Ostia were continued; and some new enterprises p205were inaugurated. Among the latter, one of the most interesting, is the examination of the ruins of the Ligurian town of Libarna, situated on the ancient Via Postumia, between Genoa and Tortona. A theater, an amphitheater, and other buildings have long been known. These were more carefully explored, and several streets of the town were cleared. One unusual feature of the site is the great number of houses with hypocausts, which show that heated houses were not so uncommon as the ruins of Pompeii and other towns of Southern Italy would lead one to infer.

At Rome, Commendatore Boni's excavations on the Palatine failed, for once, to furnish many surprises. His most important discovery was a staircase leading down to the peristyle under the Villa Mills, upon which three vaulted rooms opened. These also had entrances from the large walled garden, which is commonly called the Stadium. The staircase apparently served to connect the state apartments of the Flavian palace with the lower story of the residential part.

One piece of news of special interest for Americans is that the Mithraeum under the Church of San Clemente has at last been freed of water and made accessible at all times. This work, undertaken in 1912 at the instance of Cardinal O'Connell, the present titular of the church, has been largely supported by contributions from this country. The Mithraeum is well preserved, and is, with the exception of that discovered in 1912 in the Baths of Caracalla,7 the largest known sanctuary of Mithras.

Among discoveries in the vicinity of Rome may be mentioned a beautiful triclinium in the Villa of Hadrian, between the structures which are commonly called the Poecile and the Palaestra. This was found by Mr. Boussois in the course of investigations which he was allowed to make in preparation for an architectural restoration. At Cività Lavinia, on the acropolis of ancient Lanuvium, were found the ruins of a large temple, probably the temple of Juno. It was built of local stone, with four Doric columns and decoration in painted terra cotta.

At Ostia the neighborhood of the "Portico delle Corporazioni," as the building containing the meeting-places of the naviculari p206has come to be called,8 formed the principal point of attack. More scholae, with mosaic floors and inscriptions by which they can be identified, were cleared. It now appears that the "Piazzale delle Corporazioni" was surrounded by a double portico on all four sides and measured something over 300 × 200 feet — impressive evidence of the importance of the porta of Ostia in Imperial times. Among the houses recently excavated, one is especially emphasized in the official report of Dr. Calza. Built around an interior court, it shows evidence of at least three stories. The upper floors were reached by means of outside stairways, and were divided into groups of small rooms, lighted from the court. The suggestion that this was an apartment house seems surely justified, and also the inference that it follows the general scheme of such apartment houses in Imperial Rome, of which the Pompeian houses have given no hint. It is interesting, too, as Dr. Calza points out, as the prototype of the city apartment house of today, especially the house with an interior lighting-court, such as is the common type in the Italian cities. As in earlier years, excavations at various points below the level of Imperial times revealed traces of the Republican town, especially parts of a gateway on the line of the Strada Decumana and portions of shops about the Republican Forum.

At Pompeii the attention of the excavators was again concentrated on the Via dell' Abbondanza. Much of their labor was devoted to restoring the façades of the houses already cleared, but a number of new houses were partially excavated. The most striking of these was a house with an extensive cryptoporticus, which had served as a wine-cellar during the last years of Pompeii, but had apparently been devoted to nobler uses in earlier days. The walls were stuccoed and decorated with scenes from the Iliad and the Aethiopis. None of these, unfortunately, has been published. The ceiling was adorned with stucco reliefs. In the garden inclosed by the cryptoporticus were found the skeletons of nine persons, who had been overcome as they rushed from the underground chambers. Of four of the figures the excavators succeeded in making plaster casts, which will be added to the gruesome collection in the museum. The inscriptions, painted or p207scratched on walls, continue to throw many interesting sidelights on the life of a provincial town. That these inscriptions were sometimes placed on the walls at night was already known from CIL, IV, 3884, in which there is added to a notice of games to be given: Scr(ipsit) Aemilius Celer sing(ulus) ad Luna(m). An election notice found last year has appended to it: Lanternari tene(bant) scalam. Several of the new inscriptions record the painter's name, and one, signed by a certain Ocella, has painted below it a hastily sketched portrait and Nigra va(le).


The Author's Notes:

1 Classical Journal, IX, 58.

2 Ibid., X, 148.

3 It is reported that in the spring of 1915 further parts of the Roman portrait sculptures were recovered and a Mycenaean site of much promise was found.

4 Vitruvius V.9.1.

5 I.G. iii.542.

6 Classical Journal, X, 151.

7 Ibid., IX, 108.

8 Classical Journal, IX, 110.


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