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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The lower part of the Apollo Klarios statue
The torso of Apollo Klarios with the fibula holding together the cloak
The colossal head of Apollo
The Hadrianic head of Aphrodite imitating a fourth-century B.C. original

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

Sculptural Studies: Introduction

For two weeks now, Semra Seral (now University of Köln, but from the fall onward KULeuven) has resumed her study of the sculptural finds (see Field Notes 2003, Sculptural Studies). The abundance of new finds from the Hadrianic nymphaeum has been her primary focus so far.

This year, the first important sculpture find from the nymphaeum was of a statue of a draped female, thus far without head, broken into three pieces. This statue represents one of the most popular female statuary types from the Imperial period, known as the large Herculanean. Characteristic is the use of the left leg to support the body; the wide folds of the cloak draped across the torso above a chiton; and the drapery-engulfed right arm, its hand holding the cloak's edge, while the left arm hangs down, the hand holding the cloak's edge in a stiff position. Most of the Anatolian replicas of the type originate from the region of Lycia-Pamphylia, the province to which Sagalassos belonged from the second half of Hadrian's reign onward. As this statue type was mainly used for female portrait statues, the new Sagalassos find most probably represented a private woman, most probably a family member of the founder, Ti. Claudius Peison's heirs. In any case the style of the statue fits perfectly with the proposed date of the nymphaeum during the late Hadrianic period, so that it must belong to the original statuary display of the latter.

The most spectacular find, however, is that of a colossal seated statue of Apollo Klarios. At the moment only arms, part of the plinth and the lower part of the neck have not yet been exposed. The drapery is heavily damaged, but some small original spots indicate that the surface originally was polished. Except for the separately carved head, the rest of the statue seems to have been made from a single block of white crystalline marble. Apollo Klarios, the main god of Sagalassos since Augustan, is seated on a throne of which the arm supports were decorated on the top with lion's heads. Below, these supports take the shape of lion's feet. The god is partially covered with a cloak, draped around the shoulders and falling down so that the torso remains exposed while the lower part of the body is completely covered. The cloak is held together above the breast by a round fibula. A pedestal to the left of the god supports his main attribute, a lyre, of which many fragments have been recovered. The head of Apollo has a youthful appearance with strongly curled hair locks, parted in the middle of the forehead and taken down to the neck, where they are bound together into a knot, while some locks fall upon the shoulders. At the back of the head, there is a prominent neck support, a feature that is characteristic for many statues of Asia Minor. An ivy wreath, another attribute of the god, covers the head. At Sagalassos, city coins represent Apollo in exactly the same posture and attire, and inscriptions identify this representation as the cult statue of the nearby shrine for Apollo Klarios. Despite the fact that the whole posture is reminiscent of the Hellenistic seated statues of Zeus, the fibula holding the cloak together above the breast, identify it as a Roman creation.

Another sculpture find of extraordinary quality, be it of normal life size, was that of a female head, which can be considered as an example of the Hadrianic classicism imitating statuary, which based on the hairstyle, goes back to the fourth century B.C. The double ribbon winding through the hair makes identification with Aphrodite probable. Even if one cannot speak here of an exact replica, the hairdo as well as the composition of the face, show a great similarity to the so-called Kaufmann head from the Louvre in Paris, itself a replica of the famous Aphrodite of Knidos made by Praxiteles. An evaluation of all replicas should establish whether or not the head represents a copy or a transformation of the famous Greek original. In any case, identification with Aphrodite is most likely. This means that the goddess was represented twice in the Hadrianic nymphaeum, a fact that is not unusual. The new head must belong to the original statuary display, but the other Aphrodite statue seems to reflect a secondary use (Field Notes 2003, Sculptural Studies, August 24-30).

Other sculptural finds from the building's collapse, confirm the existence of at least two other statues. One is represented by the left leg and corresponding support of a nearly 1.90 m tall male statue, which on stylistic grounds can again be attributed to the late Hadrianic period. The statue support, in the shape of a tree, has three lines of an inscription, of which the last sentence seems to represent the sculptor's signature. The other is represented by the right and left hand of a 1.60 to 1.70 m tall statue holding a parazonium, a short sword used in parades, together with a staff-like attribute. Despite their bad state of preservation, it is clear that the hands were of lesser quality than the sculptures mentioned above. This suggests a later origin, most probably during the third-fourth century A.D. The type of sword that is represented, points towards a high-ranking person, most probably with a military status. Most statues with this kind of sword belong to cuirassed statues, many of them representing emperors. It is very tempting to link this find with the statue base with a Latin dedication set up by a governor of Pamphylia in front of the Hadrianic nymphaeum (see Hadrianic Nymphaeum, July 18-22). According to a first study by W. Eck and P.Eich the base may belong to the same period.

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