• r2-31-5
    Large recumbent lion, frontal view, left side. Set up at find spot near Synagogue. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)
  • r2-31-10
    Large recumbent lion, frontal view, left side. Set up at find spot near Synagogue. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)
  • r2-31-20
    Large recumbent lion, back view, left side. Set up at find spot near Synagogue. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)
  • r2-31-30
    Archaic lion, back. (Larry J. Majewski şahsi fotoğrafı.)
  • r2-31-40
    Large recumbent lion, side view. Set up at find spot near Synagogue. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)
  • r2-31-50
    Detail of mane. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)
  • r2-31-60
    Lion set up in the shops after restoration. (Telif hakkı Sart Amerikan Hafriyat Heyeti / Harvard Üniversitesi)

Büyük Yaslanmış Aslan

Ca. 560-550, Lidya
Sardeis veya Müze Env. No.
Mermer, Taş
Eserin Türü
Heykelin Türü
Hayvan, Aslan
Alan (Sektör)
TY 73
Marble Road
E112.8 / S10.60 - S12.15 *95.90
Bulunduğu Yeri

Sector MRd (Marble Road), fallen upside down and diagonally to the corner of a late Roman monument (structure) at the edge of N colonnade of the avenue (Fig. 4) According to excavator, the piece probably fell from the E side. Traces of trimming and clamping show that it was displayed broadside to the E, and the possible fragments from a counterpart lion (Cat. 32, Cat. 33 Figs. 123-124) lead one to wonder whether a second lion was placed symmetrically on the S side of the avenue. It is interesting that the closely comparable Loutraki lions were also a counterpart pair (see infra).

In 2014, it was discovered that a monumental three-bayed arch stood just east of the findspot of this lion: see Sardis, 2014. [NDC]


The recumbent archaic lion on a plinth has a tail starting as a faint “fat sheep” rise with dividing pattern. It is slung up over the l. hind leg. The head faces forward with mouth open and tongue lying flat. Deeply grooved whiskers are delineated by sharp, ridged, flat chisel strokes. The eyes are almost round circles with upper and lower lids indicated. The monumental mane, inspired by Corinthian “stepped-wig” coiffures, shows large rounded beads in front, but these turn into long locks of mane in the side view on the back. The r. hind leg is bent in a boldly indicated curve and has a three-toed paw.

Apparently unfinished areas show rough tooling with pointed chisel (chest, back, inside of mouth). The mane is roughly shaped by horizontal and slanting strokes of flat chisel. Below the chiseled mane in front and back are areas treated with multiple tooth chisel (Fig. 122). Just below the front mane on the proper l. is an area where smoothing with flat chisel was begun. It was carried out to make the smoother surface on the flank, as far as the flank is preserved.

The combination of flat planes and right angles, as in the nearly square head, with rounded almost fat areas, as in the contracting back, shoulders, and widening belly and chest, makes this a transitional work between the early archaic geometric lions such as they Kerkyra “panthers,” and the later, rounded ones. The sculptor was clearly imitating the Corinthian “collar type” (cf. Gabelmann, Lowenbild, 66ff., pls. 8-14), but he mixed in Lydian-Eastern Greek traits--the soft, swelling forms and a button-eyed Lydian “seal” or “sea lion” face added to the square Corinthian head (cf. Cat. 29 Figs. 114-117). His model was somewhat earlier than the symmetrical pair of Corinthian lions from Loutraki, dated by Gabelmann to 560-550 B.C. (ibid., 8). The stepped wig recalls another famous Corinthian work, the kouros from Tenea (Richter, Kouroi, 84f., no. 71, figs. 251-252, ca. 560 B.C.). A date around 560 would also fit the Sardian sequence--later than the Kuvava altar lions, earlier than the lion from the Nannas monument (Cat. 236 Figs. 407-408). This is easily the most impressive and monumental of all Sardian lions. One would most readily envisage this work at the time when Alyattes of Sardis and Periander of Corinth were close friends.


Translucent white marble with large crystals, layered structure, some darker veining. Fissure visible at center of head and neck from both back and front. Local marble with typical reddish accretion.

Muzzle (upper jaw) and large area of l. leg broken off. Front of plinth and all indication of l. foreleg missing. R. foreleg bend indicated, must have protruded well ahead of chest. Top of back is cut and flattened with surface picked. The l. haunch and surface of r. flank (?) lopped off with big chisel strokes and big point. Muzzle and forelegs may have been broken off by own weight but damaged to l. haunch intentional. At start of tail is a secondary, rectangular cutting, 0.03 by 0.03 by 0.025 D., perhaps to hold whatever was placed on top of the flattened back. Two large secondary clamp holes in the back, r. shoulder, and rib cage served to hold the lion fast to a wall. Cutting nearer neck, 0.04 by 0.04 by 0.06 D. (widens inside piece). The other hole, slightly curving, measures 0.03 in W. and 0.07 up to the metal still left inside. The way in which the back is evenly recut to serve as support suggests that something was placed on it; either a piece of masonry or a figure base is possible. The placing of clamps shows that the lion was set up with the front visible and attached to a back wall.

H. to top of head 1.01; H to back 0.69; L. 1.58; D. flattened area of back 0.32. Plinth (preserved only at back): H. 0.11, P.L. 1.40.
Ayrıca bakınız
Published: Hanfmann, Sardis, 124, pl. 29:18; BASOR 215 , 52, figs. 18, 22; Hanfmann, Archaeology 1973 27:3, 139, ill. The findspot is shown in Seager, Synagogue, 3, fig. 35.