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LʼOccident grec de Marseille à Mégara Hyblaea

 | 
Sophie Bouffier
, 
Antoine Hermary

Marseille et le réseau phocéen

Phocaean Horse and Griffon Protomes

Ömer Özyiğit

Résumé

À l’Ouest du temple d’Athéna à Phocée ont été découvertes, entre autres, des protomés de griffon et de cheval. Les deux protomés de griffons ainsi que les deux protomés de cheval mises au jour en 2005 étaient en très bon état et ont ainsi pu être presque totalement complétées. Pendant les fouilles de 2006 ont été trouvées trois protomés de griffon supplémentaires. Le temple était dédié à la déesse Athéna, la plus importante des divinités de Phocée. Il n’est pas surprenant de voir des protomés de griffons orner le temple d’Athéna, car le griffon était le symbole de Phocée. Comme celles des griffons, des protomés de cheval décoraient le temple : elles se référaient directement à la déesse Athéna, car elle était connue pour être la déesse maîtresse des chevaux et du dressage équestre.

Texte intégral

  • 1 For the Phocaean griffons : Özyiğit 2009, p. 489 ff.

1In the 2005 excavations at Phokaia, carried out in the temple of Athena from July to December, important discoveries were made and serious conclusions drawn (Özyiğit 1997, p. 341 ff.). During the stratigraphical excavations made in a triangular findspot between the temple of Athena’s western podium wall and the city walls, the dates of the construction and destruction of temples from the Archaic and the Roman periods were identified. It was established that both buildings had stood for a long period and had collapsed following major earthquakes: the Archaic temple fell in the last quarter of the second century A.D. and the one from the Roman period around 1040 A.D. After examining the finds, it was ascertained that the Archaic temple had been built at the beginning of the sixth century B. C. and had stood until the late second century A. D. In addition to important architectural finds related to the temple, the discovery of griffon and horse protomes was of particular interest. The Phocaean temple of its chief goddess, Athena, was decorated with these griffon and horse protomes (fig. 1). Prior to the excavations in 2005 it was not known that the temple of Athena, the chief deity of Phokaia, was decorated with sculptures of griffons1 and horses.

Fig. 1. Griffon and horse protomes found in 2005 in the Temple of Athena. Tufa stone. Early 6th century B.C.

Fig. 1. Griffon and horse protomes found in 2005 in the Temple of Athena. Tufa stone. Early 6th century B.C.

The horse protomes from the temple of Athena at Phokaia

2The temple was dedicated to the principal deity of the city, Athena. The horse protomes surrounding the temple are also related to Athena as she was also known as the goddess who tamed and trained horses. Like the sculptures of the griffons, those of the horses are unfinished statues as only the fore-parts are carved.

3Judging from their findspots, the numerous griffon and horse protomes that we retrieved were lined up next to each other. These sculptures were probably placed alternately, one griffon, one horse (figs. 2-4) upon the cella walls behind the colonnade of the temple and in the spaces between the columns. Like the temple itself and its other architectural elements, these protomes were made of the local tufa stone of Foça. The beam-shaped protrusions on the backs of the griffon and horse protomes were inserted between the cella blocks and resulted in the fixing of the protomes on the cella wall. These beam-shaped protrusions were carved of a piece with the protomes, from the same blocks and at right angles to their backs. These same protrusions, which served to hang the protomes upon the cella wall, were located on the lower portion of the backs of the griffon protomes and in the middle of the backs of the horse protomes. An example of such a protrusion was retrieved almost intact on the back of protome No. II (fig. 4). The beam was 0.31 m. high and 0.32 m. wide. Its preserved length was about 0.73m. To support a protome, the beam-shaped protrusion was inserted between blocks of the cella wall to a depth of nearly 1m. The protomes were attached to the cella blocks without any clamps. The cella blocks placed at the sides and on the top of these protrusions ensured that the protomes were solidly fixed to the surface of the wall.

Fig. 2. The Horse Protome No. I after restoration.

Fig. 2. The Horse Protome No. I after restoration.

Fig. 3. Horse Protome No. I, view from the left.

Fig. 3. Horse Protome No. I, view from the left.

Fig. 4. Horse Protome No. II, view from the side.

Fig. 4. Horse Protome No. II, view from the side.

4Almost two complete horse protomes were found as well as griffon protomes within an earthquake layer during the 2005 excavations. They were located in back of the temple of Athena and in front of the western podium wall. The horse protome fragments that were retrieved are now in the Izmir Archaeology Museum. Their catalogue references follow:

Horse Protome No. I (figs. 2-3)

Excavation Inventory No. Ph. 2005/2 Material: Tufa stone

Findspot and year: temple of Athena sector. Western trenches. Plan square K.8,* 1. 68-1. 58 m. Found in 2005 within the earthquake destruction layer of the Archaic temple.

Measurements: Preserved height: 1.45 m., Body width:

0.40 m., Head Height: 0.78 m. Beam-shaped protrusion height: 0.31 m., Beam width: 0.34 m., Preserved length of the beam-shaped protrusion: 0.085 m.

Museum location: Izmir Archaeological Museum.

Description: A horse protome carved out of a block of tufa stone. It consists of the head, mane, and forequarters. The head leans forward. Open mouth. Small almond-shaped eyes; the tear duct is visible. The front teeth ot the lower and upper jaws are depicted and the tongue hangs from the left side of the mouth. The ears are small. The mane is cropped short and stands upright. The curls of the mane are wrought as a series of beads rendered smaller towards the top. The forelock is similarly detailed and is placed on the forehead in front of the mane. The bridle is also decorated with beads. The head-piece, brow-band, cheek strap, nose bands, the bit in the mouth and the reins are shown. The decorated neck strap that encircles the neck bears a tassel in the form of a palmette.

The body, when numerous pieces are re-assembled, carries an extension in the form of a beam in the form

of a rectangular prism, thus allowing the sculpture to be mounted on a wall. The major portion of the beam-shaped protrusion is broken off and missing. The left ear is largely preserved whereas the right ear is broken off and missing. Here and there pieces of the harness are broken leaving it incomplete.

Early sixth century B.C.

Horse Protome No. II (fig. 4)

Excavation Inventory No. Ph. 2005/4 Material: Tufa stone

Findspot and year: temple of Athena sector. Western trenches. Plan square H8 *2.08 m. Found in 2005 within the earthquake destruction layer of the Archaic temple. Measurements: Preserved height: 0.85 m., Body width:

0.384 m., Preserved height of head: 0.63 m., Height of beam-shaped protrusion: 0.31 m., Beam width: 0.32m., Preserved length of the beam-shaped protrusion: 0.73 m. Museum location: Izmir Archaeological Museum

Description: A horse protome carved out of a block of tufa stone and composed of the head, mane, and forequarters. The body is attached to a beam-like protrusion in the shape of a rectangular prism, allowing the sculpture to be mounted on a wall. The head leans forward. Open mouth, small almond-shaped eyes; the tear duct is visible. The front teeth of the upper and lower jaws are depicted; the tongue arches toward the palate to which it is joined. Small ears. The forelock is divided in two in the middle and represented as strings of beads. The harness is also decorated with beads. The head-piece, the browband, the cheek strap, the nose bands, the reins and the bit in the mouth are rendered. However, the browband is found under the forelock. The decorated strap that encircles the neck bears at its top tassels in the form of a palmette.

5The lower portion of the body that is attached to a largely preserved beam-shaped projection is broken off and missing. The mane from the top of the head and extending down the length of the neck is broken off. The right ear is broken and only a small portion of the left one remains. The harness is broken and in places is missing all together.

The horse-figured architectural terracottas retrieved at Phokaia in the Akurgal excavations

  • 2 Akurgal 1956, p. 36; Akurgal (E.) –The Early Period and the Golden Age of Ionia. AJA, 66, 1962, pl. (...)

6In the excavations carried out by Akurgal between 1952-1955 he retrieved architectural terracottas related to the temple from the northern edge of the rocky level area on which the temple had stood.2 These pieces were fragments of a circular akroterion and various sima fragments decorated with Ionic kymation. The architectural terracottas must have generally belonged to the temple’s eastern side. The majority of the terracottas found by Akurgal during these excavations are to be found in the Izmir Archaeology Museum. They must be sima fragments belonging to chariot friezes. Three of the horses harnessed as teams that are represented merit attention. Horses galloping to the right are depicted on the terracotta fragment number 9654 in the Izmir Archaeology Museum (Akurgal 1993, pl. 107a). Below, in the foreground, is the figure of a dog that, like the horses, is running to the right. The manes of the horses are long and fall upon the neck in curls. On the thick collar around each neck are visible relief decorations whereas on the back of the hame (collar) there is the protome of a griffon. In addition to its decorative function, this griffon protome also has meaning as a protection and an intimidation. The reins are also distinctly visible.

7On the terracotta whose inventory number is 11954 one observes again two horses running towards the right (Akurgal 1993, pl. 107c). This piece is also part of a chariot frieze scene. The heads of the horses are parallel to each other. Here, too, the manes are long and fall in curls on the necks of the horses.

8The third piece, in contrast to the previous two, depicts a team of horses running to the left (Akurgal 1993, pl. 107b). This fragment bears inventory number 11953 in the Izmir Archaeology Museum. Similar to the second piece, the fore-quarters of the horses are preserved. The griffon protome on the back of the hame (collar) is partly intact. As with the piece, inventory number 9654, there is decoration on the collar. The heads of the horses are not parallel to each other. Here again the long manes fall upon the necks in curls. One observes that the browband, the cheek and throat straps are decorated with beads.

9In this group of terracottas on the upper portion of a fragment bearing the depiction of a charioteer (Izmir Archaeological Museum inventory number 9653), there is an Ionic kymation row and beneath a motif of a string of pearls with a semi-circular profile (Akurgal 1993, pl. 108b). The row of Ionic kymation and the motif of the semi-circular shaped pearls seen on this last terracotta fragment is also found on another terracotta piece (Izmir Archaeology Museum inventory number 12476; Akurgal 1993, pl. 108c; fig. 5). Judging from the traces, here, above the kymation row, there was another row of large Ionic kymation. When we examined these three fragments (Inventory numbers 9653, 11954, and 12476), we realized that they were pieces of a whole and that they joined each other (fig. 5). Thus, we concluded that above the chariot frieze there was a row of small Ionic kymation and above, a row of large Ionic kymation.

Fig. 5. Terracotta frieze fragments from the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. Izmir Archaeological Museum Inv. 9653+11954+12476. Early 6th century B.C.

Fig. 5. Terracotta frieze fragments from the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. Izmir Archaeological Museum Inv. 9653+11954+12476. Early 6th century B.C.

10Åkerström (1966, fig. 65.1-4) determined that a team of horses harnessed to a chariot found at Phokaia and a charioteer of another frieze belonging to a roof, a frieze of the second group from Larisa, were made from the same mould. Åkerström’s second group is at the same time Kjellberg’s VIIIth figured frieze group (Larisa II, p. 81-91). It was thus concluded that the architectural terracottas of the Phocaean temple of Athena and the Larisean second group of architectural terracottas belonging to a roof date from the same period. In addition, there is the frieze fragment of the horse running to the right found by Akurgal (1993, pl. 107.1). This piece appears to come from the same mould as another chariot frieze from the same roof at Larisa (Åkerström 1966, pl. 19.2). Although the Ionic kymation and the row of pearls above the chariot scenes are placed differently, these are merely variations in the friezes that are made from the same mould. However, in our opinion, the dates proposed by Åkerström are less exact than those of this discovery.

11Akurgal (1993, p. 59) states that the Phocaean temple of Athena was constructed in the first half of the sixth century B. C. at approximately the same time as the temple of Artemis at Ephesos. He adds that it was partially destroyed by Harpagos and the architectural terracotta pieces were made in the last quarter of the sixth century during repairs following the destruction. Åkerström (1966, p. 34) dates the Phocaean terracottas at the same time that he dates the second group of Larisean roofs, which means the years between 550-530 B. C.

The terracottas with horse figures retrieved in the excavations in front of the western podium wall of the Phocaean temple of Athena

12Since 1998 archaeological excavations have been carried out west of the western podium wall of the temple of Athena. In addition to griffon and horse protomes, numerous roof tiles and architectural terracottas were also retrieved in the destruction levels formed after the collapse of the Archaic temple during a major earthquake in the last quarter of the second century B.C. Among the finds were quite numerous sima fragments decorated with Ionic kymation and rows of beads whereas the figured terracottas were few. All these architectural terracottas belong to the western section of the temple and to the western pediment. During the 2008 excavations a terracotta fragment belonging to a chariot frieze was retrieved in the Western Trenches (fig. 6). The head and neck sections of two horses running to the left are well preserved on the frieze while the harnesses of the horses are not. Their short manes that curl upwards are quite interesting. They do not lie on the neck. This observation contradicts all the horse figures on terracottas found on the temple’s eastern side. The horse figures found here have long manes that hang down in curls on the neck. At Larisa only horses of the VIIIth chariot frieze have long manes. The short manes of the horses in the chariot frieze retrieved in the Western Trenches of the Phocaean temple of Athena closely resemble those seen on the chariot friezes numbered I-IV at Larisa. Decoration in the form of tongue-shaped leaves is also seen in the upper section of the chariot friezes numbered I-IV at Larisa. In the temple we also find these short manes on the horse protomes made out of tufa stone.

13Since the stone architecture of the temple was finished before its roof and since the horse protomes made at the same time as the cella walls, the date of the horse protomes must be slightly earlier than that of the architectural terracottas. Consequently, the horses with short manes may have been produced somewhat earlier than those with long manes. If this is the case, we may surmise that the terracottas on the west side of the temple are slightly older than those of the east side. This time difference is no more than five to ten years. Accordingly, the chariot frieze numbered VIII at Larisa may be dated slightly later than those numbered I-IV. This time period falls between the years 600-585 B.C.

Comparison of the Phocaean horse protomes and the architectural terracottas

14The horse protomes in the Phocaean temple of Athena and the architectural terracottas of the same shrine bear a strong resemblance to the horse figures on the architectural terracottas of Larisa. The sharp lines of the horse faces are, in particular, a characteristic common to both. The short manes with stand-up curls of the Phocaean horse protomes closely resemble the mane of the horse figure from the west pediment sima (fig. 6) of the temple of Athena as well as the manes of the horses on the chariot friezes I-IV at Larisa (Larisa II, pls. 1-12). The decoration on the harnesses of the Phocaean horse protomes resembles those of the horses in the chariot friezes from Larisa; in particular, those of the IIIrd chariot frieze are very similar (Larisa II, figs. 12-13).

Fig. 6. Terracotta frieze fragment belonging to the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. H. 22.6 cm. Found in the Western Trenches in the excavations of 2008. Early 6th century B.C.

Fig. 6. Terracotta frieze fragment belonging to the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. H. 22.6 cm. Found in the Western Trenches in the excavations of 2008. Early 6th century B.C.

15Griffon protomes together with horse protomes of tufa stone decorate the cella walls of the temple of Athena at Phokaia. Since the horse and griffon protomes were made at the same time for the same cella wall, both date from the same period at the temple itself. In the chariot friezes on the terracottas of both Phokaia and Larisa the small griffons attached to the back of the hames (horse collars) on the neck of each horse coincide with the iconographic characteristics of the large-sized griffons on the Phocaean temple of Athena. The long pointed ears, very high brow, open mouth, and pointed tongue are not only characteristics common to all of them, but also the common stylistic characteristic of the last quarter of the seventh century B.C. and the beginning of the sixth. All these characteristics date the horse protomes of Phokaia and the architectural terracottas from the same temple in the same period of time as the chariot friezes of the architectural terracottas of Larisa.

Dating of the horse-figured architectural terracottas of Phokaia and Larisa

16On the one hand, since they were formed from the same moulds as the VIIIth chariot frieze at Larisa, some examples of the architectural terracottas of the Phocaean temple of Athena date from the same period. On the other side, since the Ist-IVth chariot friezes of Larisa show a very close resemblance to the Phocaean terracottas, they must date from a very similar period. The architectural terracottas from the Phocaean temple of Athena and the chariot friezes at Larisa (Friezes nos. I-IV and VIII) can be dated within a ten years period. This date must be that of the Phocaean temple of Athena because the architectural terracottas of the temple must have been made at the same time as the temple itself or very shortly thereafter. We are not dating the Phocaean temple of Athena only according to the style of its architectural elements. We are simultaneously dating it thus because of the pottery findings. According to these dates, the temple of Athena at Phokaia belongs to the beginning of the sixth century B.C. Therefore, the architectural terracottas from the temple and the chariot friezes at Larisa (Ist-IVth and VIIIth friezes) are likewise from this period. Furthermore, the griffon protomes that decorate the cella walls of the temple of Athena confirm this time period (Özyiğit 2009, p. 489-504). Moreover, the horses in the chariot friezes at Phokaia and Larisa are quite tall which coincides with the fashion of the early sixth century B.C. as noted above. Moreover, the fact that the hair on the back of the heads of the charioteers is quite long makes the time period earlier. One of the most reliable means of determining the dates is the form and profile of the Ionic kymation. Forms of the Ionic kymation seen on both the tufa stone column capitals on the temple of Athena and on the architectural terracottas of Phokaia and Larisa are the same. With their quite wide and rounded forms, the Ionic kyma decorations show the fashion of the early sixth century B.C. Thus the horse protomes of the Phocaean temple of Athena make the chronology of the Phocaean and Larisean architectural terracottas go back to an earlier date and, by extension, the chronology of the other architectural terracottas related to them as well.

The griffon protomes of Phokaia

17Griffon and horse protomes were found along with Ionic capitals and other structural elements. The condition of two griffon (fig. 7) and two horse protomes found in 2005 was quite good, rendering it possible to complete them to a large extent. In the 2005 excavations three more griffon protomes were retrieved. In the course of the excavations carried out by Akurgal one griffon and two horse protome fragments had been found. At the time, however, it was impossible to ascertain what these fragments were. Prior to the 2005 excavations it was not known that the temple of Athena was decorated with griffon and horse protomes.

Fig. 7. Tufa stone griffon protome sculptures no. 1 and 2, which decorated the Phocaean Temple of Athena. Found in the excavations of 2005.

Fig. 7. Tufa stone griffon protome sculptures no. 1 and 2, which decorated the Phocaean Temple of Athena. Found in the excavations of 2005.

18The temple was dedicated to the chief deity of the city, Athena. It is not surprising that the temple of Athena had been decorated with griffons, the symbol of Phokaia. The horse protomes that decorated the temple along with the griffons are also related to Athena as she was also known as a goddess who tamed and trained horses. The griffons probably served as guardians of the temple of Athena. Simultaneously, they were creatures sacred to Zeus, the father of Athena.

19Griffons are mythological birds. Like the sphinx, siren and chimaera, they are composite creatures. In ancient Greece these creatures are called “Gryps”, and in western languages, “griffon”. In the first half of the eighth century B.C., after acquiring the Phoenician alphabet, the Ionians again reached a high cultural level in which they could profit from the civilization level of the eastern countries. At the same time, they continuously adopted all the composite creatures of eastern mythology. From the East they took the mythological composite animal, the griffon. This creature has the head of an eagle, the body of a lion, and wings, too. One also encounters depictions in which it has the body of a human. The ears are those of a horse or donkey whereas the upper jaw is always that of an eagle. As for the lower jaw, it is sometimes that of an eagle, at other times, that of a lion. Griffons in the form of protomes are seen later. The griffon protomes made of tufa stone have the head of an eagle with a long neck and long ears. These protomes were 1.30 m. in height. With the ears added they reached a height of 1.50 m. (fig. 8). From the ears retrieved only a single one could be completed. The height of this ear was measured as 25.8 cm. (fig. 9). The ears were attached by lead that was poured into a cavity 3.2 cm. in diameter (fig. 10). The knobs on the foreheads of the griffons were not retrieved. However, like the ears, these knobs were fastened with lead into a circular cavity in the head. In such instances, the hole was 7.3-9 cm. in diameter. The iconographic characteristics of these griffons are as follows :

  1. A wide open beak;

  2. An upward-curving tongue;

  3. The upper and lower jaws are those of an eagle. A very curved and pointed upper jaw;

  4. A high knob-like form on the forehead;

  5. Long upright ears in the shape of donkey ears;

  6. Two tresses which begin immediately in back of the ears and descend on both sides of the neck, ending in a spiral shape;

  7. A ruff that surrounds the throat from one ear to the other, like that seen on lions;

  8. A long slender pipe-shaped neck.

Fig. 8. Griffon protome no. 1.

Fig. 8. Griffon protome no. 1.

Fig. 9. Detail of griffon protome no.1. One ear of this griffon was also retrieved.

Fig. 9. Detail of griffon protome no.1. One ear of this griffon was also retrieved.

Fig. 10. Staple hole containing the lead which served to fasten the ear of griffon protome no.1 to its head.

Fig. 10. Staple hole containing the lead which served to fasten the ear of griffon protome no.1 to its head.

20These iconographic characteristics of Phocaean griffons correspond exactly to the cast griffon protomes affixed to bronze cauldrons retrieved at Olympia; their dates should not, therefore, differ greatly.

Where on the temple were the Phocaean griffon and horse protomes placed?

21The griffon and horse protomes retrieved in 2005 were found together with cella wall blocks associated with the cella wall of the Archaic temple. In the course of excavating, these protome statues belonging to the earthquake-destroyed temple were found in situ, lined up as one griffon followed by one horse. This arrangement indicates that the protome statues were placed in the intercolumnar spaces, one griffon alternating with one horse. The protome statues were hung up by affixing the beam-shaped protrusion at their backs to the cella wall. These projections, which entered into the cella wall, were each carved, out of the same tufa stone, as a single piece together with a sculpted protome. On griffon protomes the protrusions were located at the bottom of the back-side and on the horse protomes, in the middle of the back-side.

22The measurements of these protrusions on the backsides of griffon and horse protomes conform to their cella blocks. The protomes were found in the course of excavations as were the cella blocks, enabling one to ascertain that the protomes were located on the cella wall. The fact that the griffon and horse protomes were found in very good condition indicates that they were located on the exterior surface of the cella wall high enough to be out of the reach of people.

23On the back of the necks of the griffons a semi-circular shaped cavity is of particular interest. By means of this cavity a stone rod was inserted into an interstice in the cella wall thus assuring the stability of the long neck of the griffon and preventing breakage.

24The griffons probably served as guardians of the temple of Athena. They were also creatures sacred to the father of the goddess, Zeus. It is no coincidence that griffon heads are found on the earliest electrum coins of Phokaia. The temple of Athena, contemporary of these coins, was surrounded by a decoration of griffon protomes.

  • 3 For the cauldrons, see : Çilingiroğlu 1984, p. 64-80 ; Çilingiroğlu 1997, p. 124-126.

25The depiction of griffons on Phocaean coins is very similar to the griffons decorating the temple of Athena. They have in common the characteristics of a wide-open beak, a strong and mobile tongue, a pronounced round knob on the forehead and, at the sides, decorations in the form of spirals. The examples that are most similar to the griffon protomes retrieved from the Phocaean temple of Athena are those found on large bronze cauldrons.3 On these cauldrons attachments in the form of sirens are also found in addition to griffon protomes. A large number of the cauldrons have been retrieved in the West, in Greece, and in Etruria, in Italy. In particular, these griffon protomes show a great similarity to late Hittite examples. Cauldrons with griffon protomes that resemble the Phocaean griffons have frequently been found in Greece, at Samos and at Olympia; in particular, the griffon-formed bronze attachments of a cauldron retrieved at Olympia. The griffon protomes made of tufa stone for the temple of Athena must have been inspired by these. The Phocaean griffons must be contemporary with the temple, around the beginning of the sixth century B.C.

The development of the griffon protome

  • 4 Börker-Klähn (J.) – Greif. In: Reallexikon für Assyriologie, vol. 3. Berlin and New York, De Gruyte (...)

26When did griffon protomes first appear? This subject has been much discussed; the Phocaean griffon protomes have provided an important chronological novelty. It is for this reason that, in our opinion, the subject should be considered anew; hence, the subject of the present paper. For a century much research has been carried out concerning griffon depiction and griffon protomes.4

27Researchers have offered their observations and findings in detail.

28On the subject of griffon depiction E. Akurgal (1949, p. 81-84) noted the earliest reciprocal influence of eastern and western artists. According to him, in the second millenium the Cretans and the Mycenaeans brought the griffon depiction from the East. But, they developed it into a new and original form. The Phoenician griffon is inspired by the Cretan and Mycenaean examples. The Syro-Hittite griffon type is, in turn, developed under Phoenician influence. According to Akurgal (1992, p. 34), the Hellenes imitated the griffon type produced in the last phase of the Late Hittite.

Griffon head curls

  • 5 Akurgal 1969, fig. 79; Moortgat 1932, pl. 23, fig. 6 (orthostat from Kargamiş).
  • 6 Moortgat 1932, pl. 23, fig. 6 ; Wooley (L.) – Carchemish II. London, 1969, no. B 12.

29On the Phocaean griffon protomes there is a single curl above the eyes between the nose and ears (fig. 9). These curls end in a spiral shape at the tip of the ear. Given the fact that only a single curl appears, the Phocaean griffons resemble the Late Hittite bird-men. For example, at Zincirli the bird-men5 found on the orthostats of the southern gate of the city date from the middle phase of Late Hittite (the last quarter of the ninth century B.C.). The bird-men of Kargamesh6 date from the second half of the eighth century B.C. In both groups only a single curl is present.

30On the head of the griffon-man relief found on an orthostat at Sakçagözü only a single curl appears. Aramaic craftsmen mixed the traits of the eagle, horse, and lion in order to create a new type of griffon. This type, in the Aramaic-Hittite style belongs to the last phase of Late Hittite (Akurgal 1969, p. 58 and 61, figs. 16-17).

31The head of a griffon relief on an andesite orthos tat discovered at Ankara shows a close likeness to the Sakçagözü example (Akurgal 1949, p. 84 ff., pl. 49a). The curl is located in front of the ear.

32This curl found on bird-men and griffon-men of the middle and late phases of the Late Hittite differs slightly from the curls on the Phocaean griffons. The Hittite curls are located in front of or at the level of the ear. Both ends terminate in a spiral shape whereas on the Phocaean griffons the curl is in front of or above the eye. Only the lower end has a spiral shape. Nonetheless, whether the examples are Late Hittite or Phocaean, the fact that the curl is single constitutes a resemblance.

  • 7 Özgüç (T.) – Altıntepe II. Ankara, 1969, p. 39, figs. 36. 37 ; 80, pl. B figs. 3-4 ; pls. 32-33.
  • 8 Akurgal confuses the curls in front of the ear with the long tresses behind the ear. Whereas these (...)

33As for the Urartian bird-men there are two curls, thus differing them from the Late Hittite and Phocaean examples. On the ivory bird-men from Toprakkale (Barnett 1957, pl. 131 fig. W. 13, 14; Akurgal 1969, p. 82, fig. 61) and Altintepe7 the two curls are clearly shown.8

34However, the raised pointed tongue of the Urartian ivory bird-men also exists on the Phocaean griffons. Thus, the Phocaean griffons resemble the Urartian bird-men.

  • 9 Mallowan (M.E.L.) – Nimrud and its remains. London, 1966, Tome II, p. 486, fig. 383 ; Orthmann (W.) (...)

35On the bird-man on an ivory relief found at Nimrud that belongs to the New Assyrian period, a single curl and an upward-curled tongue9 are visible. This example is rare in Assyrian art and must have undergone Late Hittite and Urartian influence.

Griffon neck tresses

36Neck tresses are different from head curls. They are located on both sides of the neck and are single or double. On forged or cast griffon protomes there are different styles, but the general structure is the same.

37On examples using the forging technique, the neck tress is usually single. However, on one of the earliest griffon protomes from Olympia, there are double tresses (Akurgal 1992, pls. 12. 16a-b and 17). On both sides of the head of early period griffon protomes, using the forging technique, the tresses reach as far as the protuberance on the head and end in a spiral. Beginning in a spiral from under one side of the neck and continuing upwards, the tresses pass in back of the ears and surround the knob in the center of the forehead. Descending on the other side of the neck, they again end in a spiral as illustrated on the vase from Aigina (Akurgal 1969, pl. 55).

38The tresses on Phocaean griffon protomes are independent of each other. Two sculpted relief tresses beginning behind the ears and having semi-circular profiles descend both sides of the long neck and end in spirals. They have no connection or relationship to the knob on the forehead. This is also true of the Olympian bronze griffon protomes made using the forging technique and which must be dated later. In the forged examples double tresses are frequently seen in addition to single tresses on each side of the neck. On the Phocaean griffons the manner in which the subject is treated and the workmanship of the relief curls is also present on the Ionic capitals of the temple of Athena to which they belong. The manner of treating spirals in the volutes on the Ionic capital is the same as that of the long tresses on the griffons. Since their style is similar the Ionic capitals and the griffons must have been made by the same artisans and at the same time.

  • 10 Godard (A.) – Le Trésor de Ziwiyé (Kurdistan). Haarlem, 1950, p. 40 pl. 50 ; Parrot 1961, p. 139, f (...)

39On a gold griffon protome from Ziwiye one discovers a pair of neck tresses10 in addition to the head curl. Here the lower end of each neck tress terminates in a helix. The Ziwiye griffon protome with its pointed upper beak and raised pointed tongue recalls the style of griffon protomes made with the forging technique.

The knob on the forehead of griffons

40There is a round high knob on the forehead of Phocaean griffons. It was inserted with lead into an open cavity in the center of the forehead. No example of such a knob has been retrieved. The origin of this knob, a feature characteristic of Greek griffon protomes, goes back to the last phase of Late Hittite. On the forehead of protome examples from this last phase of Late Hittite art there are spiral decorations or low relief protuberances. Later, these develop into high round knobs. Therefore, the development of the knob is also important, chronologically speaking.

41Akurgal states that the protuberances on the forehead of griffons originate in the last phase of Late Hittite, thus asserting the concurrent development of the knob (Akurgal 1992, p. 36 ff.). According to him, this knob was, perhaps, a curl worked in relief and found on some griffon heads in Zincirli reliefs from the middle phase of the Late Hittite (ibid., pl. 12:3-4).

42There is a protuberance on the forehead of a bird-man from Sakçagözü (Akurgal 1969, fig. 16) dating back to 730 B.C. On an eagle head from Tell Halaf (Parrot 1961, p. 96 fig. 105; Akurgal 2001, fig. 147), dating from the last quarter of the eighth century B.C., the spiral in the center of the forehead has been worked in relief.

43Pursuing his theory further, Akurgal states that even earlier examples of the knob are found in the middle phase of the Late Hittite period (Akurgal 1992, p. 37, pl. 12:3-6).

44The knob on the foreheads of griffon protomes made using the forging technique have the form of a low protuberance which is clearly visible on examples found at Olympia (Jantzen 1955, pls. 1-8; Hermann 1979, p. 1-29), Samos (Jantzen 1955, no. 33, pls. 11-12), and Etruria (ibid., p. 64, pl. 18). These examples date from the last quarter and end of the eighth century B.C. Almost all researchers, with the exception of ourselves, concur with these dates. The protuberance on the foreheads is not high. The upper jaw has the form of an eagle beak whereas the lower jaw has that of a lion. The former is not pointed and the ears are short.

45These forehead protuberances on griffon protomes are also found in the ceramic art of the Hellenes. For example, on the griffon relief on a relief-decorated vase made in the Protocorinthian style at Erythrai and dating from the years 665-650 B. C., the form of the protuberance on the forehead is not high (Akurgal 1992, pls. 10:1-2 and 14:1-3). The end of the upper beak of the griffon, having the form of an eagle beak, is not pointed. The lower jaw is that of a lion.

46A griffon-headed Cycladic representation discovered at Aigina (Akurgal 1969, p. 18) is dated from the years around 650 B.C. Here, the protuberance on the forehead has taken the form of a button meaning that it is not high. The ears on this griffon are slightly longer. The form of the lower jaw is that of a lion. The particular characteristic of the upper jaw that has the form of an eagle beak is its pointed end. On this vase the tresses on both sides of the neck of the griffon head are joined on the forehead and surround the knob in the form of a half circle.

47The Olympian and Samian griffon protomes (Jantzen 1955, nos. 34-183, pls. 13-57; Herrmann 1979, p. 64-91, pls. 37-57) made using the forging technique are recognized as Hellenic work. The knob on their foreheads is quite high and erect. Chronologically, they are the last of all the bronze griffons. The tufa stone griffon protomes associated to the Phocaean temple of Athens are a part of this group.

The dating of forged and cast bronze griffon protomes and of Phocaean tufa stone griffon protomes

48Up to the present numerous scholars have carefully studied the origins of griffon protome attachments on bronze cauldrons. In our opinion, Akurgal has distinguished himself as one of the most eminent. According to these studies, griffon protomes appear influenced by Late Hittite and Urartu art. However, we support the idea that the date of the appearance of cauldrons with griffon protome attachments is around the middle of the first half of the seventh cent. B. C. We divide chronologically the development of bronze griffon protomes into three separate phases :

  1. The First Phase: Bronze griffon protomes made using the forging technique (680-650/640 B.C.).

  2. The Transitional Phase: Bronze griffon protomes in which the manufacturing techniques and styles of both the first and second phases are used together (650/640-630 B.C.).

  3. Second Phase: Bronze griffon protomes made using the casting technique (630-590 B.C.).

The Phocaean griffon protomes made of tufa stone (600-590 B.C.)

49The Phocaean griffon protomes were found with the cella blocks of the earthquake-destroyed temple of Athena. The protomes that decorated the cella wall of the temple were made at the same time as the construction of the temple itself. On the basis of both ceramic and architectural finds, we date the construction of the temple during the years 600-590 B. C. We conclude that the griffon protomes also date from the same period.

50The griffon protomes of Phokaia resemble very closely the style of the bronze griffon protomes made using the casting technique, described above in the Second Phase. Therefore, their dates must also be very close in time. The griffon protomes of Phokaia must have been designed by Ionian artists who took as a model the cauldrons with griffon attachments which we considered within the Second Phase. The relief tresses that end in a spiral seen on both sides of the neck of the griffons are also present on the Ionic capitals of the temple of Athena. The griffon protomes must, therefore, have been made by the same artisans who carved the capitals and at the same time. The Ionian artisans did not seek their inspiration in the Late Hittite and Urartian centers. Instead, cauldrons with attachments that had been created under the influence of Late Hittite and Urartian art became in turn a mythological source of inspiration to and an influence on the Ionian artists. The Phocaean griffon protomes were produced as a result.

51The temple of Athena at Phokaia is one of the oldest in the Ionian world. For this reason a second excavation of the remains of the temple and the reconstruction of a portion of it are of great importance to the Ionians. They founded the Western civilization of today and created one of their greatest cities, Phokaia, today the modern settlement of Foça. The completion of the excavations and, after restoration, the rebuilding of one section of the temple with its griffon and horse protomes will be a concrete tribute to the past of Phokaia and its importance to our own times.

Bibliographie

Åkerström 1966: ÅKERSTRÖM (Å.) – Die architektonischen Terrakotten Kleinasiens. Lund, CWK Gleerup, 1966.

Akurgal 1949: AKURGAL (E.) – Späthethitische Bildkunst. Ankara, Archäologisches Institut der Universität, 1949.

Akurgal 1956: AKURGAL (E.) – Foça Kazıları ve Kyme Sondajları. Anatolia, 1, 1956, p. 33-40.

Akurgal 1959: AKURGAL (E.) – Urartäische Kunst. Anatolia, 4, 1959, p. 99-105.

Akurgal 1961: AKURGAL (E.) – Die Kunst Anatoliens von Homer bis Alexander. Berlin, Walter De Gruyter, 1961.

Akurgal 1968: AKURGAL (E.) – Urartäische und altiranische Kunstzentren. Ankara, Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1968.

Akurgal 1969 : AKURGAL (E.) – Orient et Occident. La naissance de l’art grec. Paris, Albin Michel, 1969.

Akurgal 1992 : AKURGAL (E.) – Zur Ensthehung des griechischen Greifenbildes. In : KOTINOS. Festschrift für Erika Simon. Mainz am Rhein, P. von Zabern, 1992, p. 33-52, pls. 8-14.

Akurgal 1993 : AKURGAL (E.) – Eski Çağda Ege ve İzmir. Izmir, Net Turistik Yayɩnlar Sanayi, 1993.

Akurgal 1995 : AKURGAL (E.) – La Grèce de l’Est, berceau de la civilisation occidentale. In : Phocée et la fondation de Marseille. Marseille, Musée d’Histoire, 1995, p. 30-45.

Akurgal 2001: AKURGAL (E.) – The Hattian and Hittite Civilizations. Ankara, Ministry of Culture, 2001.

Amandry 1958 : AMANDRY (P.) – Objets orientaux en Grèce et en Italie. Syria, 35, 1958, p. 73-109.

Barnett 1957: BARNETT (R.D.) – The Nimrud Ivories in the British Museum. London, British Museum Publications, 1957.

Çilingiroğlu 1984: ÇILINGIROĞLU (A.) – Urartu ve Kuzey Suriye. Siyasal ve Kültürel İlişkiler. Izmir, Ege Üniversitesi Basimevi, 1984.

Çilingiroğlu 1997: ÇILINGIROĞLU (A.) – Urartu Krallığı. Tarihi ve Sanatı. Izmir, 1997.

Herrmann 1966: HERRMANN (H.-V.) – Die Kessel der orientalisierenden Zeit. Erster Teil. Kesselattaschen und Reliefuntersätze. Berlin, Walter De Gruyter, 1966 (OlForsch VI).

Herrmann 1979: HERRMANN (H.-V.) – Die Kessel der orientalisierenden Zeit. Zweiter Teil. Kesselprotomen und Stabdreifüsse. Berlin, Walter De Gruyter, 1979 (OlForsch XI).

Jantzen 1955: JANTZEN (U.) – Griechische Greifenkessel. Berlin, Gebr. Mann, 1955.

Larisa II: KJELLBERG (L.) – Larisa am Hermos. Die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen 1902-1934. II. Die architektonischen Terrakotten. Berlin, Walter De Gruyter, 1940.

Moortgat 1932: MOORTGAT (A.) – Die bildende Kunst des alten Orients. Berlin, H. Schoetz, 1932.

Özyiğit 2007: ÖZYİĞİT (Ö.) – 2005 Yılı Phokaia Kazı Çalışmaları. 28. Kazı Sonuçları Toplantısı, 2. cilt. Ankara, Anitlar Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü, 2007, p. 341-354.

Özyiğit 2009: ÖZYİĞİT (Ö.) – Phokaia Griffon Protomları ve Griffon Protomlu Kazanların Kronolojisi. Altan Çilingiroğlu’na Armağan. Yukarı Denizin Kiyısında Urartu Krallığı’na Adanmış Bir Hayat. Istanbul, Arkeoloji ve Sanat Yayinlari 2009, p. 489-504.

Parrot 1961 : PARROT (A.) – Assur. Paris, Gallimard, 1961.

Notes

1 For the Phocaean griffons : Özyiğit 2009, p. 489 ff.

2 Akurgal 1956, p. 36; Akurgal (E.) –The Early Period and the Golden Age of Ionia. AJA, 66, 1962, pl. 101 figs. 24-25; Akurgal 1993, p. 58-59 pls. 107-108; Akurgal 1995, p. 35.

3 For the cauldrons, see : Çilingiroğlu 1984, p. 64-80 ; Çilingiroğlu 1997, p. 124-126.

4 Börker-Klähn (J.) – Greif. In: Reallexikon für Assyriologie, vol. 3. Berlin and New York, De Gruyter, 1971, p. 633-639 ; Furtwängler (A.) – Gryps. In: Roscher (W.H.) ed., Ausführliches Lexikon der griechischen und römischen Mythologie, vol. I.2, Leipzig, 1886-1890, p. 1742-1777 ; Poulsen (F.) – Der Orient und die frühgriechische Kunst. Leipzig and Berlin, B. G. Teubner, 1912, p. 49 ff ; Kunze (E.) – Kretische Bronzereliefs. Stuttgart, 1931, p. 166-169 ; Moortgat 1932, pl. 23, fig. 6 ; Amandry (P.) – Petits objets de Delphes. BCH, 68-69, 1944-1945, p. 67-74 ; Kunze (E.) – Neue Meisterwerke griechischer Kunst aus Olympia. Munich, 1948 ; Barnett (R.D.) – Early Greek and Oriental Ivories. JHS, 69, 1949, p. 1-19 ; Akurgal 1949, p. 80 and 84-86 ; Kunze (E.) – OlForsch, II, 1950, p. 229 ; Jantzen 1955 ; Amandry (P.) – Grèce et Orient. Études d’archéologie classique, I, 1955-56. Paris, De Boccard, 1958, p. 3-15 ; Id. – Chaudrons à protomes de taureau en Orient et en Grèce. In: Studies presented to Hetty Goldman. New York, 1956, p. 239-261 ; Hanfmann (G.M.A.) – Gnomon, 29, 1957, p. 241-248 ; Barnett 1957, Index : griffon; Amandry 1958, p. 85 ff ; Jantzen (U.) – Greifenprotomen von Samos. Ein Nachtrag. AM, 73, 1958, p. 26-49, Beil. 28-52 ; Akurgal 1959, p. 99-105 ; Akurgal 1961, p. 66-70 ; Simon (E.) – Zur Bedeutung des Greifen in der Kunst der Kaiserzeit. Latomus, 21, 1962, p. 749-780 ; Bisi (A.M.) – Il Grifone, Rome, 1965 ; Goldmann (B.) – The Development of the LionGriffin. AJA, 64, 1960, p. 319-328 ; Kyrieleis (H.) – Zum orientalischen Kesselschmuck. MarbWPr, 1966, p. 1ff ; Herrmann 1966 ; Akurgal 1968, p. 75-79 and 82, figs. 60-61 ; Akurgal 1969, p. 56. 57. 61. 63. 182-186 ; Benson (J.L.) – Unpublished Griffin Protomes in American Collections. Antike Kunst, 3, 1960, p. 58-70 ; Tzavella-Evjen (Ch.) – Ta pterota onta tis proistorikis epochis tou Aigaiou. Athens, Archaeological Society, 1970, pls. 1-22 ; Vidal de Brandt (M.M.) – La iconographia del grifo en la peninsula Iberica. University of Barcelona, 1975 ; Herrmann 1979 ; Dierichs (A.) – Das Bild des Greifen in der frühgriechischen Flächenkunst. Munich, 1981 ; Akurgal 1992.

5 Akurgal 1969, fig. 79; Moortgat 1932, pl. 23, fig. 6 (orthostat from Kargamiş).

6 Moortgat 1932, pl. 23, fig. 6 ; Wooley (L.) – Carchemish II. London, 1969, no. B 12.

7 Özgüç (T.) – Altıntepe II. Ankara, 1969, p. 39, figs. 36. 37 ; 80, pl. B figs. 3-4 ; pls. 32-33.

8 Akurgal confuses the curls in front of the ear with the long tresses behind the ear. Whereas these are distinct from each other and both are seen on Phocaean griffons : Akurgal 1992, p. 36.

9 Mallowan (M.E.L.) – Nimrud and its remains. London, 1966, Tome II, p. 486, fig. 383 ; Orthmann (W.) – Der Alte Orient. Berlin, 1975, pl. 259.

10 Godard (A.) – Le Trésor de Ziwiyé (Kurdistan). Haarlem, 1950, p. 40 pl. 50 ; Parrot 1961, p. 139, fig. 169. This gold griffon dates from the end of the eighth century B. C. This date is too early for the style shown and must date from a later period.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1. Griffon and horse protomes found in 2005 in the Temple of Athena. Tufa stone. Early 6th century B.C.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 264k
Titre Fig. 2. The Horse Protome No. I after restoration.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 188k
Titre Fig. 3. Horse Protome No. I, view from the left.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 444k
Titre Fig. 4. Horse Protome No. II, view from the side.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 83k
Titre Fig. 5. Terracotta frieze fragments from the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. Izmir Archaeological Museum Inv. 9653+11954+12476. Early 6th century B.C.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 392k
Titre Fig. 6. Terracotta frieze fragment belonging to the Temple of Athena at Phokaia. H. 22.6 cm. Found in the Western Trenches in the excavations of 2008. Early 6th century B.C.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 348k
Titre Fig. 7. Tufa stone griffon protome sculptures no. 1 and 2, which decorated the Phocaean Temple of Athena. Found in the excavations of 2005.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 368k
Titre Fig. 8. Griffon protome no. 1.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 432k
Titre Fig. 9. Detail of griffon protome no.1. One ear of this griffon was also retrieved.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 252k
Titre Fig. 10. Staple hole containing the lead which served to fasten the ear of griffon protome no.1 to its head.
URL http://books.openedition.org/pccj/docannexe/image/3871/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 472k

Auteur

Director of the Phokaia excavations and faculty member of the Aegean University, Faculty of Literature, Department of Archaeology.

© Publications du Centre Camille Jullian, 2013

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