Search in Turkey Carpets and Rugs Turkish Cuisine Site Search

The Lydian Treasure

Deep Phiale


Height 6.1 cm.
diameter at rim 12.5 cm.
diameter of body 11.6 cm.
weight 232.2 gr.

Usak Museum

The deep shouldered bowl has an offset lip, outturned at the rim, and a shallow omphalos with a centring mark on the underside. Spaced evenly around the upper zone of the wall are eighteen male heads, and the lower zone is decorated with seventy two engraved tongues, bordered around the top by a ring of punched circles. The heads are hollow, made separately and fitted in grooves, the lip around the outer edge folded and hammered down over a flange around the lobe, as with nos. 33, 35 and 37. Each face has slanting eyes, prominent eyebrows curving down into a broad nose with large nostrils, and a drooping moustache which curls up at the ends above a well formed lower lip. Low on the forehead is a fringe of hair with spiral curls at the centre. The lower part of the head is long and pointed, in the shape of a beard. The hair of the fringe, eye brows and moustache is marked by ridges, but the beard is plain and smooth. When the bowl is moved, tiny bronze pellets inside the heads create a rattling sound. The heads are linked by engraved, highly stylised floral motifs. Around the carination of the shoulder is stamped a band of square rosettes. The underside of the omphalos is lightly scored with lines radiating from its centre, a continuation of the engraved tongues on the wall of the vessel.
There is no known close parallel to this vessel, although the shape and outline of the heads can be compared with the gilt tear shaped lobes of no.33, and a silver phiale bearing Persian heads is listed in a Delian temple inventory of a later date. A shallow silver phiale from a tomb of the Seven Brothers tumulus group in the Kuban, South Russia, has an inside ring of closely spaced satyr heads around the omphalos.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
For any comments and suggestion please send an e-mail using the form at page mailform.html