• latw-113-10
    Marbled omphalos phiale from Miletus. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Marbled omphalos phiale from Miletus

Second to third quarter of 6th c BC, Lydian or Late Lydian
Balat, Miletus Museum, Z 05.6.123
Museum Inventory No.
Z 05.6.123
Object Type
Pottery Shape
Omphalos Phiale
Pottery Ware
Lydian Painted - Marbled
Pottery Attribution
Hemispherical bowl with central boss. Painted in a light to dark brown glaze on a slip, which is thin and reddish brown on the inside and thick and yellowish white on the outside. Interior completely covered with marbling, the marbled central boss is framed by a solid band. Exterior: eight stripes of marbling connecting rim with center. Largely preserved. Diameter mouth 13.6 cm, height 5.3 cm.
Found in the extramural sanctuary of Aphrodite at Miletus, which is situated ca. 700 m west of the fortified Archaic city on a hill now called Zeytintepe. In ancient times, the temenos was close to the seashore and part of the suburb Oikous. Judging by the rich votives and the scanty remains of monumental marble architecture, the Archaic period was the heyday of the Aphrodite sanctuary. Among the pottery and figurines dedicated to the goddess during the seventh and sixth centuries BC are numerous imports from Corinth, Athens, Laconia, Cyprus and Egypt. Objects from Lydia, however, are extremely rare. The omphalos phialai Nos. 113 and 114 belong to a stylistically homogeneous group of six marbled vessels (five phialai and one kotyle), which were found together in a large deposit that was filled in approximately at the end of the third quarter of the sixth century BC. It may well be that they were dedicated by the same person. If so, the graffito incised on the phiale No. 114 gives us his name: Drymon. For a comparable piece: No. 108, Greenewalt 2012, fig. 15.
See Also
Kerschner, “Lydians and Ionians”.
Ehrhardt and Kerschner forthcoming; on the deposit: Pantaleon and Senff 2008.