Plaster Cast: Gravestone Inscription


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Basic Information

Artifact Identification Plaster Cast: Gravestone Inscription   (1900.11.0103)
  1. Communication Artifacts
  2. :
  3. Ceremonial Artifacts
  4. :
  5. Funerary Objects
Artist/Maker Emile Gillieron & Fils, Athens.
Geographic Location
Period/Date Archaic, 650 - 550 BCE
Culture Ancient Greek

Physical Analysis

Dimension 1 (Length) 92.5 cm
Dimension 2 (Width) 63.5 cm
Dimension 3 (Height) 5.7 cm
Weight 25,200 g
Measuring Remarks None
Materials Plaster
Manufacturing Processes Cast
Munsell Color Information waived

Research Remarks

Published Description N/A

Plaster cast of the front face 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 center of the upper face is (IG XII 3.762a). 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: PEKMANOP (Reksanor), APKHAGETAM (Arkhagetas), piPOKLHM (Prokles), KLEAGOPAM (Kleagoras), piEPAIEYS (Peraieus), OPthOKLEM (Orthokles), and LEONTIDAM (Leontidas). The first two are written boustrophedon (right to left and then left to right—“as the ox turns when plowing”), the third left to right. The last two words are at the edge (beginning bottom right and running onto left edge). It has been suggested that Arkhagetas may not be a proper name but a title of Rhexanor or Prokles, meaning “King” or possibly “Leader” of a group. It is uncertain whether all were inscribed at the same time: there are small variations in the letter shapes, but none significant. The three words at middle were cut first and are larger, the rest added. If added at the same time, these smaller names may acknowledge subordinates; if added later, the smaller letters and crowding may only mean that space was lacking. The plaster casts of the left and right sides of the gravestone are 1900.11.0099 and 1900.11.0102 respectively.


Spurlock Museum: 1900.11.0099, 1900.11.0102 IG XII 3.762b, 762c, 762d (the other three sides of the gravestone with the fourth, d, read as Orthokles) and 765, 771, 781, 783.


Fraser, Peter M. and Elaine Matthews, eds. 1987. A Lexicon of Greek Personal Names, vol. 1, The Aegean Islands, Cyprus, Cyrenaica. 1994. Oxford: The Clarendon Press for the British Academy. Guarducci, M. Epigrafia Greca, vol. I (Rome 1987) 352–53, with figs. 181a and b. Jeffery, Lilian H. 1961. The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece. Oxford, 317–318, 323 no. 5 (additional bibliography), pl. 61 no. 5. = Jeffery, Lilian H., and A. W. Johnston. 1990. Revised edition with a supplement. Oxford, Touratsoglou, I. et al. The Greek Script (Athens 2001) fig. 24 (color photograph). IG XII 3 = Inscriptiones Graecae, vol. XII, part 3, Inscriptiones Symes, Teutlussae, Teli, Nisyri, Astypalaeae, Anaphes, Therae et Therasiae, Pholegandri, Cimoli, Meli (1898–1904), no. 762a

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 N/A
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. See also 1900.11.0099 and 1900.11.0102.

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