• r2-15-10
    Male head, back. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Back of a Male Head

480-460 BC?, Late Lydian (Persian)?
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Marble, Stone
Object Type
Sculpture Type
Human Figure, Kouros
Findspot unknown.

A regular pattern of tight curls goes down to the nape of the neck which has fine light chisel work and finish. The back of the head is rounded in profile. It is probably a late archaic or early classical original. B.S. Ridgway has suggested (orally) that the piece is a Roman copy as the head is too bulbous and there is too much detail in the curls. However, a date of ca. 480-460 B.C. seems indicated by the resemblance to the hairdo of Harmodios in the Tyrant-Slayer group of 477 B.C., and its reflection in the W, Herakles Selinus temple “E,” ca. 460 B.C., as well as the similarity to heads of young athletes of early classical style. E.B. Harrison (personal communication Feb. 1971) noted that the shape of the skull bulges, as that of Harmodios does not, and placed the piece between the Tyrannicides and Myron (480-460 B.C.).

This and the preceding fragment (Cat. 14 Fig. 66) are important as the only possible evidence for the existence of the male youth type at Sardis.


White Marble.

Face broken off at point behind ears. The even split does not look very old.

H. 0.22; max. W. 0.186; max. D. 0.07.
For Harmodios see Brunnsåker, Tyrant-Slayers, pls. 3, 14, 21 (details, Terme and Metropolitan); Picard, Manuel II.1, 14, fig. 4. For Herakles cf. Langlotz, Westgriechen, 81f., pl. 100 = Picard, Manuel II.1, 127, fig. 61; Richter, Catalogue Greek Sculptures, pl. 24 a, b, no. 25.
See Also