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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos

The plinth with the lower part of the presumed Dionysos statue. The remains of the panther are visible on the right.

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Sculptural Studies: August 8-12

The sculptural finds from the Hadrianic Nymphaeum this week (see Hadrianic Nymphaeum, August 8-12) studied by Semra Saral (University of Köln) complete our picture of the statuary display of the building and of the minimal number of statues that were exhibited in it. Among the new finds are two torsos in different states of preservation and a statue plinth with one single foot left. Only one of the torsos can be completed because remains of a panther are visible on the corresponding plinth. This animal is a usually associated with the god Dionysos, so we can assume that this god as well was on display within the nymphaeum. Moreover, he would make a nice counterpart for his eternal companion--the satyr found last year among the statues of the building's east wing. Thus, the whole spectre of "ideal" statues that were on display inside the nymphaeum include Dionysos, a satyr, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Demeter, and Apollo. The last two dominate the other Olympians because of their dimensions. The second torso also belongs to a male statue. Only the lower part of the belly and the adjoining upper part of the right leg have been preserved. The knee shows the same posture as that of the other torso. We know that we are dealing with a copy because of the presence of measuring points. We believe this fragment as well belonged to an "ideal" statue, probably connected with the plinth mentioned above. The dimensions, the workmanship, and the marble of both torsos leave little doubt as to the fact that they were produced by the same workshop. Other body parts found last week belong to statues that are less than life-sized. Based on their poor state of preservation and rudimentary surface treatment, these fragments cannot belong to statues within the statuary display of the nymphaeum itself.

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