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Listed 19 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites for destination: "PRIINI Ancient city TURKEY".


Archaeological sites (19)

Perseus Building Catalog

Priene, Acropolis Fortifications

Site: Priene
Type: Fortification
Summary: Continuation of city wall circuit at north, east and west of acropolis, with towers.
Date: ca. 350 B.C. - 340 B.C.
Period: Late Clas./Hell.

Plan:
The acropolis fortification wall uses straight stretches of curtain, not the saw-toothed design of the lower fortification walls. Square towers project at intervals along the exterior of the wall. In the north of the acropolis, a gateway is protected by flanking walls and hollow, two-storied towers.

History:
Like the fortifications of the lower city, the acropolis fortifications date back to the city's foundation in the mid-fourth century B.C. A round tower at the northern extension of the acropolis dates to the Byzantine period.

Other Notes:
The acropolis fortifications contain four hollow, inhabitable towers which served as living quarters for the guard; an inscription indicates that the captain of the garrison may not leave his post on the acropolis for the entire period of his duty, one year.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 22 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Alexandreion

Site: Priene
Type: House or sanctuary
Summary: Large house-type structure with central courtyard, located in western section of city, in third housing quarter from west gate; site of possible cult.
Date: ca. 350 B.C. - 150 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A central courtyard is bordered on north, east and south by rooms; the entrance is in the west wall. The northern room, containing a stone podium, is entered through a colonnaded pronaos and is two-aisled; three smaller rooms open onto the court in the east; in the south are two additional rooms, built above cellars.

History:
The basic plan of the complex may date back to the fourth century B.C. and may represent a substantial private dwelling which was subsequently converted into a sanctuary or cult center; or, it may have been planned as a sanctuary from the outset. Later construction phases are in evidence: the long northern room with central colonnade was divided into two by a cross-wall running north-south, and a second doorway was opened into this room. The mosaic floor of the northern room of the eastern row was obscured by later wall construction. The renovations and restorations probably date to the second century B.C.

Other Notes:
A 1.90 m. tall doorpost at the main entrance to the structure is inscribed with the following text: elache te hierosun[en:] Anaxidemos Apollon[iou:] eisinai eis [to] hiero hagno e[n] estheti leuk[ei.] "Anaxidemos, son of Apollonios, received the priesthood to enter the holy temple in white clothing." Inside the northern room, near the podium, were discovered a number of terracottas (bust of Cybele, Eros and female, bearded Herm) and marble figurines, including a bearded Herm and a bust of Alexander the Great. Also near the podium stood a marble offering table, in front of which a natural fissure in the bedrock forms a pit. This pit is interpreted as a sacrificial pit through analogy with that in the Sanctuary of Demeter. Architecturally, the entire complex in no way resembles a typical Greek sanctuary. This divergence from public cult architecture leads to the suggestion that the structure was essentially a private cult center. If it was initially a private house, it may have been the one in which Alexander the Great stayed when he spent some time in Priene in 334 B.C.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Altar of Athena

Site: Priene
Type: Altar
Summary: Rectangular altar located 12.35 m. east of the Temple of Athena, on axis with the temple.
Date: ca. 325 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A low, rectangular altar standing on two steps; its sides were probably decorated with half-column pilasters between which are a series of low podia, supporting twenty relief panels. In the relief panels were carved draped female figures, almost certainly Muses, and a figure of Apollo Kitharoidos. The columns supported an entablature consisting of an architrave crowned by an ovolo and dentil, with cornice course of Ionic geison with ovolo crown, and finally a cyma recta. The relief panels and columns essentially formed a screen wall around the three sides of the altar platform on which the sacrifices took place.

History:
The history of the altar is difficult to reconstruct with certainty. The dating of the sculptures, based on stylistic considerations, has resulted in dates ranging from the late third century to the mid-second century B.C. There is general agreement that the altar is of later date than the temple itself, and the most recent analysis suggests that the altar reliefs were carved in the late third century B.C. The architectural style of the altar itself, however, is consistent with an earlier date, in the second half of the fourth century, leading some to conclude that the altar was planned at this time, but not actually executed until later. When the temple was rededicated to Athena and Augustus in the late first century B.C., this rededication was also recorded on the architrave of the altar.

Other Notes:
The altar was first discovered by Pullan and briefly described in his Antiquities of Ionia, IV (1881). The reconstruction of the altar as low and rectangular in form was first suggested by Schrader (1904); this reconstruction was challenged by Dorpfeld and von Gerkan (1924), who viewed the altar as similar in plan to the Great Altar at Pergamon. By analogy with the Pergamon monument, the Priene altar was thus dated to some time after the mid-second century B.C. Recent analysis of Pullan's excavation notes and photographs, and the discovery of additional relief fragments, has led Carter (1983) to confirm Schrader's initial reconstruction of the monument as a low altar. The Pergamon analogy is thus erroneous, and the style of the reliefs may also suggest an earlier date, that is, in the last quarter of the third century B.C.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 6 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Bouleuterion

Site: Priene
Type: Bouleuterion
Summary: Bouleuterion or meeting hall in center of city, next to the Prytaneion; oriented to the south.
Date: ca. 200 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Almost square in plan, the bouleuterion contains rows of seats on its west, north and east sides: 16 rows on the north, and ten each on the west and east. The south wall contains a rectangular niche or exedra with arched roof. Stepped aisles lead diagonally up to the rows of seats from the central floor area, or "orchestra," in which stands a marble altar. Regularly-spaced piers, six on each of the north, west and east sides, would have supported the wooden roof. The building was entered through doorways in the north, west, and south walls.

History:
Construction of the bouleuterion began in ca. 200 B.C. During a later phase of reconstruction, the span of the roof was judged to be too wide, and the piers were accordingly brought closer to the center. Buttresses were also added between the piers and the side walls. The building was destroyed - probably by fire - at some time during the Christian period; beyond the north-west corner of the bouleuterion, a small chapel was built, and traces of Christian burials were discovered near the north wall.

Other Notes:
The bouleuterion provided seating for 600-700 people, a large number considering the population of Priene. Thus it may have been an Ekklesiasterion, or meeting hall for the Assembly of citizens, rather than a bouleuterion or meeting hall for council members alone. The exedra in the south wall, with its arcuated lintel, also served as a light well for the bouleuterion; it is uncertain whether additional windows existed higher in the walls.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 39 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Fortification Walls

Site: Priene
Type: Fortification
Summary: Well-preserved fortification wall circuit with towers, enclosing the site and the acropolis hill in the north.
Date: ca. 350 B.C. - 340 B.C.
Period: Late Clas./Hell.

Plan:
In plan, the walls are of saw-tooth design, with square towers at intervals. The majority of the towers are solid, but there are hollow, two-storied towers which served as barracks for the guards. The wall includes in its circuit three city gates, the East Gate, West Gate, and South-East Gate. The East Gate, the main entrance to the city, was vaulted with a limestone arch and was reached from the outside by a long, paved ramp. Two curving walls inside the gate created a horseshoe-shaped court within which an attacking force would be trapped. The West Gate was also arched; no towers protected this gate, but the steep topography provided adequate defense. The South-East Gate was protected by a tower from which a defending force could fire on the enemy's unprotected right flank. In two locations in the lower city wall, and once on the acropolis, staircases are preserved which led to a defensive walkway.

History:
The construction of the fortifications at Priene is contemporary with the new foundation of the city in ca. 350 B.C.

Other Notes:
Built into the west facade of the South-East Gate is an inscription, contemporary with the construction of the wall, preserving the following text: hupnotheis Philios Kuprios genos exalaminos huios Aristonos Naolochon eiden onar thesmophorous te hagnas potnias em pharesi leokois: opsesi d' en trissais heroa tonde sebein enogon poleios phulakog choron t' apedeixan: hon heneka hidrusen tonde theio Philios. "When asleep, Philios Kyprios (of Cyprus?) of the Exalaminos family (?), son of Ariston of (?) Naolochos, saw in a dream holy reverend Thesmophoroi in white cloaks. And in three visions they ordered him to honor this hero of the guard of the city and they showed him the spot. Wherefore Philios established this sanctuary." The use of the saw-tooth wall design, combined with the contours of the land, would have compelled an attacking force to concentrate their attack on the projecting towers. The saw-tooth wall design is referred to by Philo 86.3 as PRIONOTE. The towers were not bonded into the wall, and thus, if they collapsed, they would not destroy the adjacent wall circuit. The presence of a tower at the proper left of the South-East Gate would have enabled a defending force to fire on the unprotected right flank of an approaching enemy force.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 14 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Lower Gymnasium

Site: Priene
Type: Gymnasium
Summary: Gymnasium adjacent to stadium, below center of city, inside southern city wall
Date: ca. 130 B.C. - 100 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Square central palaestra surrounded by colonnades; double colonnade in north, leading to a row of at least five rooms; in the west, an additional row of four rooms and the monumental entrance to the complex. The colonnade in the north was two-storied.

History:
An inscription found in the North Stoa of Priene and dating to the mid-second century B.C. refers to the construction of a new gymnasium, the lower gymnasium. Funding for the new building was delayed until ca. 130 B.C., when two brothers, Moschion and Athenopolis, donated considerable funds for its construction. Graffiti of Republican date indicate that the gymnasium was still in use at this time. Unlike many Hellenistic gymnasia of Asia Minor, it was not converted into a bath building in the Roman Imperial period.

Other Notes:
Typologically, the lower gymnasium combines the characteristics of a simple, square palaestra surrounded by Doric colonnades, with characteristics reminiscent of agora architecture, here represented by the double colonnade in the north leading to the Ionic facade of the schoolroom or ephebeum. The lower gymnasium forms part of a complex together with the adjacent stadium, although there are differences in their level and orientation. In some respects the gymnasium at Priene accords with Vitruvius' description of a typical Greek palaestra, surrounded by colonnades to provide shelter from inclement weather, and with rooms for instruction, washing and philosophical discussion behind the colonnades.Vitr. De Arch. 5.11.1-2

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 3 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Propylon of Athena Sanctuary

Site: Priene
Type: Propylon
Summary: Monumental entrance to the Athena Sanctuary, oriented east-west; not aligned with central axis of temple.
Date: ca. 25 B.C. - A.D. 1
Period: Roman

Plan:
In the east, six steps lead from the street level to a courtyard articulated by tetrastyle porticoes at the front and rear; a transverse wall with central door crosses the west end of the propylon.

History:
The propylon belongs to a later date than the construction of the temple, probably to the period of Augustus, when interest in the Sanctuary was renewed with the rededication to Athena and Augustus. The structure was never completed - bosses remain on the columns of the west front and the paving was never smoothed.

Other Notes:
The propylon is not aligned with the central axis of the Temple but instead is situated slightly to the south, providing a visitor to the Sanctuary with a view of the south-east corner of the Altar and the Temple. Pilaster capitals decorated with acanthus decoration, once believed to have articulated the interior walls of the propylon, are now thought to have come from at least four free-standing pilaster monuments, which once supported bronze statues, and which stood between the south wall of the temple and the south stoa. One of the Ionic column capitals (now in the British Museum) preserves the compass marks used in designing the volute.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Prytaneion

Site: Priene
Type: Prytaneion
Summary: Meeting house and dining room for senate members, adjacent to bouleuterion, in center of city.
Date: ca. 180 B.C. - A.D. 150
Period: Hellenistic/Roman

Plan:
The building in its present state takes the form of a peristyle house: a rectangular structure with central paved, colonnaded courtyard surrounded by three small rooms on the north, two on the west and three on the south sides. The building was entered through a door in the north wall of the central room in the south row.

History:
The preserved remains date to the Roman Imperial period, but an older building existed on the site. Elements which belong to the earlier, Greek building are the walls of the three rooms in the north, a stretch of east-west wall dividing the two rooms in the west, a short stretch of north-south wall in the south, and two very fragmentary walls in the east. It is uncertain whether the earlier structure had a central peristyle. A hearth in the south-east room is also identified as belonging to the Greek period.

Other Notes:
At the entrance to the southernmost room of the western row stands a reused column shaft carved with the following inscription: he lamprotate Prieneon Ionon polis kai <hek>r[atiste] boule kai to philosebaston sunedrion t<es> gerousias eteimesan kata ta pollakis hupo auton e<n k> oinoi di' hupo<mnem>aton logisthe<nt>a epi b<oul>lekkl<es>ion kai dia psephismaton hu<re>r hon epoi<es>ato dia ton archo<n per>ri t<e p>olin analomaton M[arkon] Aur[elion] Tatiano B tou Eusch<em>onos tou Pollionos to agoranomo[n] kai pa<ne>guriarchon tes Poliados theou Athenas kai prostat<en> tes theou kai archiprutanin kai boularchon to stephanephoron. eutucheite "The most brilliant city of the Ionian citizens of Priene and the most powerful Council and the most august Synhedrin of the elders in accordance with the things frequently received in (their?) accounts for...(council?) of the assemblies of the expenses of the city have honored M. Aur. Tatianus, the market official of the noble Pollion (?), the president of the festal assembly for the city's goddess Athena, the presiding officer of the goddess, the chief president, and the crowed president of the senate. May you prosper." In the north-west corner of the central courtyard stands a marble base or table (height 0.68 m.) and a simple marble basin. In the easternmost room of the south row of rooms was a hearth. The presence of these features, the location of the building next to the bouleuterion, the proximity of the Sacred Stoa, and the presence of the dedicatory inscription contribute to the interpretation of the structure as a prytaneion; it has been argued, however, that there is no incontrovertible evidence that this structure is indeed the prytaneion of Priene: evidence for dining facilities is lacking, for example, and the plan contains many features of domestic architecture perhaps inappropriate for a civic building. If the present structure is indeed a prytaneion, and if its earliest construction date is accepted as the early second century B.C., there must have been an earlier prytaneion at Priene: inscriptions dating to the fourth century B.C. refer to a prytaneion, and it is most unlikely that the fourth century city would have lacked this important structure.Miller 1978, 205-206, nos. 392-395.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Sacred Stoa

Site: Priene
Type: Stoa
Summary: Two-aisled stoa located in the north of the agora in the center of the city.
Date: ca. 160 B.C. - 150 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A two-aisled stoa facing south, with 15 rooms (shops) extending for ca. 76 m. from west end of stoa in the rear (north); closed side walls. 49 columns form the exterior colonnade, with 24 in the interior. A flight of six steps connects the stoa to the agora below.

History:
Although the market clearly constituted an early element of Priene's town plan, the Sacred Stoa itself was not built until the middle of the second century B.C. The form of the building which must have occupied this location before the construction of the Sacred Stoa is not known, although the excavators postulate that a shorter stoa, possibly equal in length to the stoa along the south of the agora, stood here, based on the following evidence: the rear (north) wall of the rooms of the Sacred Stoa is the earliest element of the structure, and may once have formed the rear wall of an older stoa without rear rooms. Furthermore, the eastern section of the flight of six steps connecting the agora to the level of the stoa is of later construction, containing reused blocks; this suggests that the original stoa which stood here was shorter than the Sacred Stoa, and that the staircase was extended when the longer Sacred Stoa was constructed. This reconstruction, postulating an earlier structure, has been rejected by one scholar, Miller 1978, 123-124, who argues that the Sacred Stoa itself may well date to the fourth century B.C. The new stoa of the second century B.C., in its extended form, would have concealed the facades of the Bouleuterion and Prytaneion to the east. In the Imperial period, one of the rear rooms was probably dedicated to the cult of Roma.

Other Notes:
A fragmentary text inscribed on the architrave of the exterior colonnade refers to the donor of the building: [-- BASIL]EOS ARI[ARATHOU --] The text was restored by the excavators as follows: basileus Orophernes basil]eos Ari[arathou... "King Orophernes, son of King Ariarathes...." In this reading, the Cappadocian ruler Orophernes, significant benefactor of other structures at Priene (including notably the cult statue of the Temple of Athena) would have been responsible for the construction of the Sacred Stoa in ca. 155 B.C. An alternative restoration of the inscription is as follows: [huper basil]eos Ari[arathou Epiphanous kai Philopatoros] restoring as the benefactor of the stoa Ariarathes VI, and providing a terminus post quem of ca. 130 B.C. Some have suggested, however, that the inscription may not belong to the stoa, and furthermore that the block on which it is inscribed may not be an architrave, but rather a statue base: Miller 1978, 122-23. Miller would prefer to date the Sacred Stoa, and indeed the entire insula of which it forms a part, to the fourth century B.C. The title of the building is derived from an inscription carved on the west end wall: the inscription, of post-Mithradatic date, honors one Aulus Aemilius Zosimos and refers to the inscribing of the decree en tei hierai stoai tei en tei agorai "in the Sacred Stoa in the Agora," leading some scholars to suggest that one of the exedrae incorporated into the northern row of shops functioned as a cult center for Dea Roma already in the second century B.C.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 25 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore

Site: Priene
Type: Temple
Summary: Temple, altar, and sacrificial pit situated within temenos enclosure north of city center, at foot of acropolis.
Date: ca. 350 B.C. - 300 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
The rectangular temenos enclosure is oriented east-west, with an entrance in the east wall. The central court of the temenos was left free for cult activities. Against the rear (west) wall of the temenos stands the temple building, of unusual form: behind the east-facing pronaos is a cella which is wider than it is long, and which narrows towards the south. Two small rooms open off the cella to the north. The pronaos does not extend for the entire length of the cella, nor is the cella door centered between the columns of the pronaos. A door leads from the pronaos to the sacrificial pit in the south.

History:
Construction of the sanctuary began sometime in the late fourth century B.C. Some features of the sanctuary are of Roman date and attest to continuity of use: the altar near the entrance is Roman, and later walls of uncertain purpose were built within the temenos.

Other Notes:
An altar of Roman date stood inside the temenos near the north wall. Outside the entrance were found two statue bases, one for a bronze statue and one for a marble statue. The latter is preserved, and depicts the priestess Nikeso, although the possibility that it represents Demeter herself is not to be discarded. The inscription is dated to ca. 300-250 B.C. von Gaertringen 1906, no. 173.The podia inside the temple cella represent bases for dedications to the goddess; some contain cuttings for the placement of statues. Also preserved in the cella of the temple are marble offering tables. Numerous terracotta figurines of a style dating to the fourth century B.C. were discovered in the sanctuary; they represent draped females, sows, and grotesques (fertility figures).

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 22 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Sanctuary of Egyptian Gods

Site: Priene
Type: Sanctuary
Summary: Walled sanctuary containing large altar, situated in eastern sector of city on a massive terrace wall.
Date: ca. 300 B.C. - 100 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
The rectangular temenos enclosure contains a large rectangular altar oriented north-south; a propylon provides access in the northern wall; a portico stood along the west wall. The altar itself was reached via a staircase in the south; the steps projected in the manner of Italian podium temple staircases. There appears to have been no significant superstructure on top of the altar.

History:
The original plan of the sanctuary, dating to the late fourth or third century B.C., was very simple: a rectangular temenos entered from the east, containing an altar. At a later date, a more elaborate propylon was built in the northern wall of the temenos, and a portico was constructed alongside the west wall. Both of these additions may still be pre-Roman. Traces of houses dating to the Middle Ages are found in the northern area of the sanctuary.

Other Notes:
A number of inscriptions (two from altars, one from an anta) make certain the identification of the complex as a sanctuary of the Egyptian Gods. The altars are inscribed as follows: Isidos; Sarapidos; Anoubidos., "Of Isis, of Serapis, of Anubis." The letter forms of this inscription are dated to the third century B.C. A second, round altar carries the following text: Xa[nthippou] neokoron Sarapidi Isidi Anoubidi Harpokratei Heraklei Aniketoi. "Of the neocorate of Serapis, Isis, Anubis, Harpokrates, Herakles Unconquerable..."

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 4 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Stadium

Site: Priene
Type: Stadium
Summary: Stadium with seating and colonnade along north; located directly inside the south wall of the city, adjacent to the lower gymnasium.
Date: ca. 130 B.C. - 120 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
Running track which was square at both ends (not U-shaped), with starting gates in west; spectators' seats in north only (due to slope of land); above the seats, a flat terrace with Doric colonnade behind.

History:
The stadium was probably constructed at the same date as the adjacent gymnasium to the west, in ca. 130 B.C. The present building may have replaced an earlier structure. Evidence of restoration at a later date is provided by the construction of an elaborate starting gate with engaged Corinthian pilasters, directly behind the simpler marble starting blocks of the Hellenistic period. Also at a later date a 0.50 m. thick mortar wall was erected in front of the first row of seats.

Other Notes:
It is still unclear exactly how the starting gates of the stadium functioned, and whether or not there was a mechanical device to ensure that the runners started together. No trace has been found of a turning post in the eastern end of the stadium. A 3.50 m. wide staircase led down to the level of the running track from the terrace above, in the west near the doorway to the gymnasium. At the lower level are the foundations of a marble altar.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 2 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Stoa of Athena Sanctuary

Site: Priene
Type: Stoa
Summary: One-aisled stoa facing south, forming southern extremity of Sanctuary of Athena Polias.
Date: ca. 200 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
One-aisled stoa facing south

History:
The construction of the south stoa belongs to a later phase than that of the temple itself, sometime after the third century B.C. The north wall of the stoa was built over statue bases from the sanctuary.

Other Notes:
The intercolumniation of the colonnade is calculated at 2.34 m., resulting in a row of 32 columns. The dimensions of the south stoa are similar to those of the stoa by the stadium at Priene. Like the columns of the stadium stoa, the south stoa columns were unfluted for a height of 1.30 m.; above this they were faceted. A door is postulated in the closed rear wall of the stoa, to provide access to the sanctuary and temple.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Temple of Athena

Site: Priene
Type: Temple
Summary: Temple of Athena, in the sanctuary of Athena; built on a high terrace near the middle of the city
Date: ca. 340 B.C. - 150 B.C.
Period: Late Clas./Hell.

Plan:
Hexastyle peripteral temple with eleven columns on the sides; distyle in antis, with pronaos, cella and opisthodomos. The Ionic foot (0.295 m.) is used as a unit of measurement throughout. The total column height and entablature height equal 50 feet, corresponding to half the length of the cella. The cella, of 100 feet, is thus a hekatompedon, and corresponds closely with the length of the cella of the Parthenon.

History:
Begun ca. 340 B.C.; dedicated by Alexander the Great in 334 B.C., when the east end of the temple was completed at least up to the anta. The date of completion of the entire temple is uncertain - some have detected two distinct building phases, the latter falling in the mid-second century, while others maintain that the temple was substantially complete by the last quarter of the fourth century B.C. The cult statue, a version of the Athena Parthenos, was not installed until ca. 158 -156 B.C., and was probably dedicated by the Cappadocian ruler Orophernes. After 27 B.C., the sanctuary was rededicated to Athena Polias and Augustus, and continued as an important cult center throughout the Imperial period. The transformation of the opisthodomos into a closed space - perhaps a small treasury - may belong to this Roman phase; other scholars date the moldings of the new door of the opisthodomos to the second century B.C., that is, to a second phase of construction. The temple was used as a church in the Byzantine period.

Other Notes:
Text of inscription on south anta: basileus Alexandros anetheke to nao Athenaiei Poliadi. "King Alexander dedicated the temple to Athena Polias." (Text in von Gaertringen 1906, no. 156) Text of architrave inscription rededicating temple to Athena Polias and Augustus: ho demos Athenai [P]oliadi kai [aut]o?kratori Kaisari theou huioi theoi Sebasto[i kathierosen] "The people dedicated it to Athena Polias and to the divine emperor Caesar Augustus, son of the god." (Text in von Gaertringen 1906, no. 157). The entire temple was designed on a modular system based on 6 x 6 feet (Ionic foot = 0.295 m.) The overall dimensions of the temple platform equal 66 x 126 feet; the column bases measure 6 feet wide and are 6 feet apart. The temple may thus be regarded as an attempt at canonization of the Ionic order. A striking feature of the temple, thought to be an innovation of the architect, is the use of coffers carved in relief with mythological scenes (gigantomachy with participation of Amazons), located in the ceiling of the peristyle.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 63 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Temple of Zeus

Site: Priene
Type: Temple
Summary: Small temple at east of agora, oriented to the east; not accessible from agora.
Date: ca. 300 B.C.
Period: Hellenistic

Plan:
A tetrastyle prostyle temple with closed cella and without opisthodomos, situated in a small temenos enclosure bordered by Doric stoas; entered from the east.

History:
The temple was constructed in the late fourth or early third century B.C. There is little evidence for its later history.

Other Notes:
The temenos enclosure also contained dedications to Hera, Pan and Asklepios; an inscription found near the temenos referring to the Asklepieion led the excavators to their initial identification of the temple. Elements of the entablature are completely preserved: a three-fascia architrave without frieze, surmounted by dentils, sima and geison decorated with lions' head waterspouts and lotus and palmette chain. The decoration was clearly influenced by that of the Temple of Athena Polias, although there are differences in proportions.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 23 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Priene, Theater

Site: Priene
Type: Theater
Summary: Theater of Greek type with orchestra, parodoi, and stage building, located in the north of the city, below the acropolis and above the upper gymnasium.
Date: ca. 300 B.C. - A.D. 200
Period: Hellenistic/Roman

Plan:
The auditorium was greater than a semi-circle, with stone parodos walls. Seating consisted of five cunei of seats with six staircases, with 22 tiers of seats in the lower story and 25 in the upper. The stage building was rectangular and two-storied; in front of it stood the proscenium, which was slightly longer than the stage building itself. The facade of the proscenium was articulated by a one-storied row of pillars with eleven intercolumniations. From the proscenium cross-beams ran back to the stage building to support the flat wooden roof.

History:
The building history of the theater at Priene spans a number of centuries. Sometime after the refounding of the city (ca. 350 B.C.), the seats of the auditorium and the central orchestra were prepared (ca. 300 B.C.), at which time there may have been a temporary wooden stage building. In ca. 200 B.C. marble seats were added on the circumference of the orchestra; presumably the action still took place in the central orchestra at this time. In the mid-second century B.C., a change in the presentation of dramatic action, due to the influence of New Comedy, occurred: the roof of the proscenium became the "stage", instead of the central orchestra. Consequently, a stone proscenium was built at Priene in front of the stage building, which also was reconstructed in stone. The roof of the proscenium became the floor of the stage (the logeion), with the action taking place in front of the upper story of the stage building (the episcenium). At this period the episcenium was opened up with three large doors (thyromata) to accommodate the actors and hold stage scenery. Statue bases dating to ca. 135 B.C. in front of the proscenium provide a terminus ante quem for the construction of this feature. Marble benches were constructed higher up in the auditorium, to afford a better view of the action. To the late Hellenistic period should also be ascribed the walling-up of the intercolumniations of the proscenium; painted panels hung here. In the Roman Imperial period, in the second century A.D., the stage building was further articulated with a two-story facade with three doors and two niches.

Other Notes:
Dating questions: an early document from the city, dated to ca. 330 B.C. refers to seating rights; some have assumed that therefore the theater must have been laid out by this time. Von Gerkan, however, prefers a date of ca. 300-250 B.C., based on his study of the stage building. Von Gerkan had argued that the proscenium was part of the original structure of the theater, but such an early appearance of this feature is not only unparalleled but also not supported by the archaeological evidence. The proscenium at Priene must represent a later addition. A nicety of design of the theater at Priene is the fact that the face of the proscenium stylobate coincides with the side of a theoretical square inscribed within the circle created by the orchestra, as prescribed by Vitruvius in his description of the Greek theater. (Vitruvius De Arch. 5.7.1).A marble rectangular altar was found in the orchestra, near its circumference; it is decorated with an Ionic entablature, and carried the inscription: PUTHOTIMO[S]AGONOTh[ET...] The script dates the altar to the early second century B.C. Numerous traces of polychromy indicate that the individual elements of the proscenium were painted with blue and red.

Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 51 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


Perseus Site Catalog

Priene

Region: Ionia
Periods: Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine
Type: Fortified city
Summary: Grid-planned city at the foot of Mt. Mykale.

Physical Description:
   
The city of Priene lies on the southern slopes of Mt. Mykale overlooking the Maeander river. The city largely excavated by the Germans in the late 19th century is planned on a strict grid, defying the steeply sloping topography of the site and imposing a rational human order on the landscape. Its well-preserved remains, with its temple of Athena, well-planned agora, theater, stadium, gymnasium, fortification walls and many excavated houses, form one of the best examples of a small Greek polis. The city was laid out on a rectangular grid, with blocks measuring about 120 x 160 feet (35.40 x 47.20 m), a proportion of 3:4. These blocks were originally divided into 8 rather long and narrow houses, although later rebuilding has obscured much of the original scheme (see Hoepfner & Schwandner 1986, 153, 169-75, fig. 147, etc.; this original grid is included in the Perseus site plans in lighter lines, together with the excavated sections of walls which conform to this grid, in heavier lines). The plan was applied rather ruthlessly to the landscape, requiring extensive terracing, with some streets transformed to steep flights of stairs. Some of the flatter areas of the city were reserved for the major public buildings: the Temple of Athena Polias, among the first structures to be built in the newly-moved city, and the agora, an open area surrounded by stoas. The theater was set into the side of the hill above the agora. The streets vary in width depending on their position in the city and the traffic they were intended to bear: thus the main east-west street (the "Westtorstrasse") is 5.55-5.60 m wide, about 19 Ionic feet; the street east of the Prytaneion 4.30 m (almost 15 feet), other streets average about 3.45 m wide, about 12 feet. Hoepfner and Schwandner restore an original scheme in which the north-south streets widen progressively towards the center of the city, from 12 feet at the gates to 16 and then 20 feet at the agora. The impressive fortification walls also included the acropolis above the city. This was a relatively empty area, though, without much occupation other than defenses and barracks. The walls enclosed some 37 ha., of which the built-up lower city covered some 15 ha.
Description:
   
The remains of the city on Mt. Mykale are positively identified as Priene by inscriptions and coins. Practically no remains dating to earlier than the mid-fourth century were found at the site, however, despite its extensive excavation. The Germans concluded from this and from the layout of the city that Priene had moved to this site in the mid-fourth century from an earlier, yet undiscovered spot. They attributed the move to the silting of the Maeander river, which also engulfed Myus, Miletus and other nearby cities, as well, later, as Priene itself (Strabo 12.8.17); other scholars have suggested that Mausolus, Athens or other agencies were also involved. Such a move is not attested in the literary sources, and in fact, as Demand has pointed out, some sources seem to imply that Priene was always located in the same place (e.g. Strabo 14.1.12; Paus. 7.2.10; see Demand 1990, 139-146; Phoenix 40 (1986) 36-44). However, the archaeological evidence, including the lack of earlier coins and pottery, earlier architecture or architectural fragments, and the layout of the city, of which the mid-fourth century temple of Athena forms an integral part, seem to show conclusively that there was no earlier occupation at this site. The end of the city is also problematic. Most of the houses seem to have been destroyed by fire in the second half of the second century BC, and never reoccupied. The bulk of the finds from the excavation come from this destruction level. Parts of the city, including many of the major public buildings, were occupied into the Roman period, though, and a Byzantine chapel attests occupation in that era.
Exploration:
   
The Society of Dilettanti sent three missions to Priene, in 1764-6, 1811-12 and 1868-9; excavations conducted during the last mission, by Richard Popplewell Pullan, uncovered the Temple and Temenos of Athena Polias. In 1895-1989 a German expedition led by Th. Wiegand and H. Schrader excavated much of the rest of the city, including the agora, further sanctuaries, and houses. Recent research by the German Archaeological Institute has refined their findings.

Nick Cahill, ed.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 165 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.


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