Plaster Cast: Gravestone Inscription


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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Plaster Cast: Gravestone Inscription   (1900.11.0099)
  1. Communication Artifacts
  2. :
  3. Ceremonial Artifacts
  4. :
  5. Funerary Objects
Artist/Maker Berlin Museum. Gipsformerei. Previously attributed to Emile Gillieron & Fils.
Geographic Location
Period/Date Archaic, 650-550 BCE
Culture Ancient Greek

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Length) 57.7 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 35.2 cm
Dimension 3 (Depth) 5.4 cm
Weight 5025 g
Measuring Remarks 12 pounds
Materials Plaster, Metal
Manufacturing Processes Cast
Munsell Color Information Grayish Brown (2.5 y 6/2) -ns

Research Remarks

Published Description N/A

Plaster cast of the left side of a large flat slab of dark grey volcanic stone, with at least nine, possibly ten names inscribed in total on its four sides in the early Theran alphabet: three words at the middle of the upper face, with two more crowded near the edges at left and bottom; five more are inscribed around each of the three low vertical sides of the slab. The text occupying the left side of the slab is (IG XII 3.762b). The letters are between ?? and ?? cm. high. The letters of the epichoric Theran alphabet are transliterated as follows:
Latin P for Greek rho (R)
pi = Greek pi = the letter p in Latin
Latin th for Greek theta—on the inscription a circle with a cross through the center
Latin H for the aspirate = the Greek character for a rectangular Ionic theta
Latin I for Greek iota often has three or four bars like the Greek sigma
Latin M for Greek san from Phoenician sade (derived from zayin?), the voiced sibilant
Latin M also is Greek mu with flaring vertical strokes, the right one longer
Latin Q for Greek Qoppa from Phoenician qop = a small circle with a vertical line from the bottom.
The names are: AGLON (Aglon), piERILAM (Perilas), MALEQO[S] (Maleqos). They are written boustrophedon (right to left and then left to right—“as the ox turns when plowing”). It is uncertain whether all were inscribed at the same time: there are small variations in the letter shapes, but none significant. The plaster casts of the center and right sides of the gravestone are 1900.11.0101 and 1900.11.0102 respectively.


Spurlock Museum: 1900.11.0102, 1900.11.0103 IG XII 3.762a, 762c, 762d (the other three sides of the gravestone with the fourth, d, read as Orthokles) and 765, 771, 781, 783.


Guarducci, M. L'epigrafia greca dalle origini al tardo impreo. Rome, 1987: Instituto poligrafico e Zecca dello stato: Libreria dello Stato, 80. Jeffery, L.H. The local Scripts of Archaic Greece: A Study of the Origin of the Greek Alphabet and Its Development From the Eighth to the Fifth Centuries BC. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961. 323, no. 5. pp. 317-318.

Artifact History

Archaeological Data

The inscription was found about 4.5 km. above the modern village of Kamari, near the remains of the ancient polis of Thera on the Mesovouno ridge separated from mount Profitis Elias by a lower ridge, Sellada (saddle), with the graves on and around this ridge. Both the cemetery and town have been partially excavated.

Credit Line/Dedication Classical Museum Purchase
Reproduction Yes
Reproduction Information Original displayed in the Athens Epigraphical Museum. Reproduction probably made by the staff of the Athens National Archaeological Museum, perhaps Emile Gillieron & Fils, Athens. The casts of the front and right side of this slab are Spurlock artifacts 1900.11.0103 and 1900.11.0102 respectively.

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