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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Piecing together the colossal statue of Apollo
The hole in Apollo's upper torso to insert the head
The statue after completion

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

Sculptural Studies: August 1-5

Last week, we found several larger and smaller fragments that almost completed the nearly three-meter-high colossal seated statue of Apollo Klarios, holding a cither in his left arm (see Sculptural Studies, July 25-29). We also recovered most of the missing fragments of the colossal female head discovered in 2003 inside the basin of the Hadrianic nymphaeum, making it almost complete. Its height measures 0.70 m. Its classical features are characteristic for the Hadrianic period (A.D. 117-138), corresponding with the nymphaeum's construction date (see Hadrianic Nymphaeum, July 25-29). After Semra Seral (University of Köln) and Valentina Lini (Italy) put all pieces together, the head could be identified as representing the goddess of agriculture, Demeter, who was rather popular at Sagalassos. She wears a high diadem decorated with a vegetal décor and carrying on its top rosettes and palmettes. Except for other parts of the veil and the left hand, clasping drapery, the rest of the statue, which was of the same size as that of Apollo, apparently is missing. Most probably any remains visible in late antiquity were burnt to produce lime. No remains of a third colossal statue, which one would expect in the left rectangular niche of the nymphaeum have thus far been recovered either. However, by the end of the week, we could establish the existence of at least three other life-sized male statues. In each case, the plinth, with one or both feet, was preserved. One plinth carries a left leg with half a panther against it, apparently suggesting the presence of a Dionysos. A comparison with the finds from the 2003 campaign may provide additional fragments. The style of all plinths and feet, as well as the identical form of all plinths, point toward a common workshop and date of origin. Although the nymphaeum has not yet been completely exposed and despite the fact that the total number of its statues can not yet be established, the many statuary remains point toward a very rich display. Next to divinities of colossal size, e.g. Apollo Klarios and Demeter, over life-sized to life-sized male and female statues, representing gods, ideal and portrait statues, were present. This week we found a nice portrait head in its hairstyle very reminiscent of the portrait statue of Plancia Magna found at Perge in the gateway, which she dedicated to Hadrian around the same time of the construction of our nymphaeum. Another sculpture fragment is that of a large bull's head, with a piece of lead on it to attach another object. All these statues were made of marble, at first sight representing two different types. On the other hand, statue bases also indicate the presence of bronze statues dedicated to the emperor Hadrian and to the founder of the monument, Ti. Claudius Peison (see Hadrianic Nymphaeum, July 18-22).

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The colossal head of Demeter (left), fragment of a female portrait statue of the middle Hadrianic period (center), and the marble bull head found inside the basin of the Hadrianic nymphaeum (right)
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