INVESTIGATIONS AT ASSOS
from center to center and the total width of the imbrices-
There can be but little doubt that these latter were intended
to be exactly two Greek feet in width, that is to say, of a
dimension commonly employed in all parts of the ancient
world. The flat tile shown upon the sculptured slab (Page 71,
Fig. 2) which was set up in the market-place of Assos as the
official standard, has this width of 0.603 m- a length of
No remains of tegulae belonging to the temple were found
in a state of preservation sufficient to show their dimensions,
or their exact shape. It is only certain that they were of an-
gular section, like that sculptured upon the standard, from
which they cannot have materially differed in width.
The fragments of three imbrices belonging to the temple
the only ones referable with certainty to that structure
form part of the collection in the Museum at Boston. All these
are of a coarse-grained terra-cotta, coated with a lustrous black
Fragments of an acroterion were found sufficient to con-
vey an understanding of the nature of this prominent orna-
ment, although not to permit of a complete restoration. The
ridge acroterion is represented by a block of the same vol-
canic tufa employed for the gargoyles, having a regular thick-
ness of 1 8 cm., and cut to the form of a scroll (Page 155, Fig. 7).
The inner convolutions are indicated by rectangular incisions,
about 8 mm. broad, which deepen as they retreat from the
center, varying from a shallow notch to a cut 5 cm. deep. The
spiral line thus varies in appearance from a light gray to a per-
fectly black shadow. The circular perforation in the center of
the volute is cut completely through the stone.
It is plain that we have here to deal with the upper scroll
of a central acroterion, closely resembling that of the temple
of Aigina, now in the Glyptothek of Munich. Remains of a
similar kind have also been found among the overthrown stones
of the Parthenon; and taking these facts in connection with
the representations of archaic temples upon vases, gems, etc.,
there is good ground for the belief that a monumental anthe-
mion, cut from a slab of equal thickness, was regarded as the
normal decoration of the apex of Doric gables.
Of the corner acroteria, the single fragment brought to
light was the fore paw of a sphinx or griffin, standing upon
a portion of the base by which the figure was attached to the
end of the sima, above the gargoyle.
The corner acroterion, like the central scroll and the lion’s
head, is carved of a fine-grained tufa. As tufa is much softer
and more easily worked than andesite, it was therefore better
adapted to the requirements of the earliest Greek stone-cutters.
It is seldom found among remains of a later date than the first
half of the fifth century before Christ. It thus bears the same
relation to the archaic architecture of the Troad which poros
bears to that of the Peloponnesos and Sicily. The resistance
of this stone to the disintegrating effects of the weather is far
greater than that of the andesite. The forms of the lion’s head
(Page 169, Fig. 1) retains a sharpness unequalled in the sculp-
tures or architectural details executed in other materials.
All the dimensions of the temple were measured at the close
of the excavations, and the averages of those members which
show perceptible variations were recalculated. The final results
are given in the following table:
Length of lower step ......
Breadth of lower step ......
Tread of lower step ......
Length of stylobate ......
Breadth of stylobate ......
Exterior of cella, length ......
Walls of cella and antae, thickness ....
Door of naos, breadth of opening ....
Interior of naos, length ......
Antae walls, length ......
Total width of vestibule, before antae
pteroma, sides and rear
Columns on centers, sides, average ....
front, average ....
Lower diameter of shaft, average ....
Upper diameter of shaft, average ....
Height of steps, each ......
column, calculated .....
shaft, calculated .....
capital, average .....
frieze . .
Total height of order, including steps, calculated
Thickness of entablature (epistyle) ....
Dimensions of coffered ceiling, vestibule
4.06 x 12.25
it • 1
2.14 X 21.51
2.14 X 12.25
2.48 x 6.65
Angle of gable slope ......
A remarkable similarity of absolute dimensions is noticeable
between the temple of Assos and the Theseion. In the Theseion,
for instance, the breadth of the stylobate is 13.816 meters; in
the temple of Assos, 14.035 meters; in the former the breadth
of the cella upon the exterior is 7.928 meters, in the latter,
The date of the temple at Assos has long been the subject
of discussion among archaeologists, most of them assigning it
to a very early period. Mr. Clarke in his final report gives it a
much later date, namely the middle of the fifth century B. C.2
Only one inscription was found on the Acropolis near the
Temple. This was a marble slab found just North of the stylo-
bate near the surface of the ground.
[Tja crKeved com 8ap.6crLa eiri
ayopavopM Meytcrrta S&iyepet-
o> • Tjp.i/teSi/Ai'oi yaXtfiot rpcis,
r)p.ieKTa evvea, $L)(oivLKa. 8e-
[>]a, yo Luces enra, rpfoa.
[y]dX«ta recrcrapa, r)p.L^oov, aX-
[Xo exov ’ crT<*-
[ffyia yajX/ajja-] raXavra rpi[a] . .
.in^eirrapvaov . . .
The upper part is well preserved. The end of the inscription
is broken away, and has never been found. The inscription
was published by Professor Frederic D. Allen in the American
'''Journal of Philology, Vol. Ill, No. 12, p. 463. Greatest
height of slab, 0.18; width, 0.29 m.
The inscription is interesting chiefly because we learn from
this and the three following fragments that the language of
Assos was the Aeolic of Lesbos. It is an inventory of measures,
most probably belonging to the temple of Athena, near which
it was found. Such inventories were made by an official at the
expiration of his term of office, for the use of his successor, and
to show officially that there had been no maladministration of
1Dorpfeld, Graber, Borrmann, und Siebold, Ueber die Verwendung von.
Terracotten am Geison und Dache griechischer Bauwerke. Berlin, 1881.
2F. Sartiaux in the Revue Archeologique, Quatrieme Serie, Tome XXII,
XXIII, 1913, 1914, has made a new and careful investigation of the temple
and sculptures. He suggests a different arrangement of the sculptured frieze,
and dates the temple from the second half of the VI century B. C.