Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

University Of Pennsylvania Archaeologist Asserts That Enigmatic Ivory Statuette May Be Part Of The Throne Of The Famed King Midas

Date:
January 3, 2002
Source:
University Of Pennsylvania
Summary:
It isn’t made of gold, but a well-known and much-discussed ivory statuette of a lion-tamer, found in 1939 at Delphi, may very well be part of the throne given to the god Apollo by the famous King Midas of Phrygia.

It isn’t made of gold, but a well-known and much-discussed ivory statuette of a lion-tamer, found in 1939 at Delphi, may very well be part of the throne given to the god Apollo by the famous King Midas of Phrygia.

Related Articles


So asserts Dr. Keith DeVries, Associate Curator, Mediterranean section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and former Field Director of the Museum’s long-term excavation project at the Phrygian capital of Gordion in Turkey. Dr. DeVries shares his intriguing argument, based upon archaeological finds from Turkey and ancient written evidence, Saturday, January 5th at the 103rd annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, held this year in Philadelphia.

Dr. DeVries’ detective work made use of ancient Assyrian records that indicate that the powerful Phrygian King Midas ruled at least during the period between 717 and 709 B.C. The Greek historian Herodotos, writing several centuries later (circa 450-430 B.C.), mentions a throne, a gift from King Midas, in the Corinthian Treasury at Delphi; Herodotos understood it to be the very throne from which Midas rendered justice. No later mention of the throne is known.

Since its 1939 discovery, in one of two trash pits just about thirty feet away from where the Corinthian Treasury once stood, the elaborate ivory statuette of a lion-tamer has drawn much interest, and some controversy. The pits where it was uncovered were filled with discarded votive material, some of it burned, with the latest piece dating from 420 B.C. The unusual statuette has cuttings in its back that indicate it was attached to something, possibly furniture. Over the years, the style of the statuette has been debated; most scholars have supposed it Greek under Anatolian influence, but some have thought it possibly or definitely Anatolian.

According to Dr. DeVries, the accumulating evidence of finds from sites in Turkey, including recently discovered ivory figurines in a tomb near Elmali, allow for a confident identification of the statuette as non-Greek Anatolian, probably Phrygian. Also, the dramatic shift in the chronology of Phrygian art that recent radiocarbon dates from Gordion, along with the Elmali finds, now allow, make a date for the statuette in the late 8th or early 7th century B.C. plausible.

"While no single bit of evidence is conclusive in itself, the pool of evidence is compelling," noted Dr. DeVries. "There is the Anatolian, probably Phrygian, workmanship—the find-spot of the piece right near the Corinthian Treasury—the date of its dumping, soon after the time of Herodotos—and a plausible date of manufacture during the period of Midas. It all adds up to a strong case that this statuette once was attached to the king’s throne—which, by the way, Herodotos termed ‘well worth seeing.’"


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Pennsylvania. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Pennsylvania. "University Of Pennsylvania Archaeologist Asserts That Enigmatic Ivory Statuette May Be Part Of The Throne Of The Famed King Midas." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020103074806.htm>.
University Of Pennsylvania. (2002, January 3). University Of Pennsylvania Archaeologist Asserts That Enigmatic Ivory Statuette May Be Part Of The Throne Of The Famed King Midas. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020103074806.htm
University Of Pennsylvania. "University Of Pennsylvania Archaeologist Asserts That Enigmatic Ivory Statuette May Be Part Of The Throne Of The Famed King Midas." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020103074806.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins