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Evidence for the Dating of Greek Settlements in Cyrenaica

  • John Boardman

The British School's excavations in collaboration with the Libyan Department of Antiquities at Tocra (ancient Taucheira) have demonstrated that this colony was founded very soon after the traditional date for the foundation of Cyrene itself (631 B.C.). In connexion with the excavations the present writer and Mr. John Hayes, who is publishing the pottery from Tocra, took the opportunity to collect evidence of the earliest Greek finds on other sites in Cyrenaica to see whether earlier foundation dates than those generally proposed were possible for these also.

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1 Report by Carter, T. H. in Expedition v (1963) 2427. Cf. also Evans, , Palace of Minos ii. 37, n. 2, for Seal Island, which he noted as still a favourite resort for Greek sponge-fishers; Rowe, , Bull. John Rylands Lib. 1954, 488 (map); Bates, , The Eastern Libyans 5, 229, n. 8.

2 Cf. Chamoux, Cyrène sous la monarchie des Battiades 118 ff. for references.

3 Carter, 24 f. I am indebted to Mrs. Carter for notes on what was found and photographs of the sherds collected.

4 Cf. JHS lxxxv (1965) 6 f.

5 Cf. Fortetsa 158 f., or BSA xlix (1954) pl. 26. 58, 61–63.

6 AM lxxiv (1959) Beil. 33, 38.

7 e.g. AM xxviii (1903) Beil. 26. J2, and for the shape perhaps Beil. 31. J26. On the patterns see Strøm, , Acta Arch. xxxiii (1962) 233 f. and pl. 1c.

8 That it was current still in the 630s, as these finds show, may contribute to a down-dating of the series and remove some of the objections based on its apparent incompatibility with other and earlier Theran styles.

9 AM lxxiv (1959), Beil. 46–48.

10 Stucchi, Agore di Cirene i, pl. 10. 14, 15 and p. 40, fig. 17.

11 Ibid., pl. 10. 2.

12 For publications of other early pottery from Cyrene see Oliverio, , Documenti ii. 2, pl. 112, fig. 106, a Rhodian crater rim with graffito (Jeffery, , Local Scripts 320, 324); Pernier, Il Tempio e l'Altare 98, fig. 91, Corinthian; Afr. It. iv, pls. 1–3. It is not easy to believe the alleged provenience (Cyrene) for the Laconian Late Geometric skyphos in Berlin, , AM lii (1927) 53, fig. 31.

13 Libya Antiqua i (1964) 127 ff. It is restored as a lebes, but no lip is preserved, nor are the fragments painted within, so it is possibly from an amphora.

14 As on the London ram plate (64. 10–17. 5; Schiering, Werkstätten pl. 8. i); JHS lx (1940) pl. 2d (Al Mina; late seventh century); Louvre A 305 (Zervos, Rhodes 50, fig. 86); and later on the Perseus plate in Berlin, , BSA xxxiv (1933–4) pl. 19.

15 Schiering, 51; cf. Kardhara, Rhodiake Angeiographia figs. 38, 263, 283, 286, pl. 14a.

16 For early Ptolemais see Rowe, Hist. of Anc. Cyr. (Suppl. to Ann. de Service, Cahier 12, 1948) 54 f.; Kraeling, Ptolemais 3 ff.

17 The pithos from Barke (Rowe, pl. 12. 2), with its crude copy of Panathenaic runners, cannot be taken seriously.

18 Kardara, 276 ff.

19 Fifteen seen in all. The flat undersides have groups of 2, 3, or 4 grooves, except for the earlier London A 747 (Kardara 84), the ‘Nisyros School’ London 60. 4–4. 3 (Kardara 288), and the later ‘Chalazes Group’ (Kardara 291, nos. 2, 3), which are plain and flat. Others have a shallow centre hollow. The underside of the big sphinx plate in London (Kardara 236) has a shallow step in the profile, down towards the centre, while the ‘Nisyros School’ Louvre A 308 and London 64. 10–7·6 (Kardara 287, 289) have two steps, out towards the rim, and are plain beneath. There are no true foot-rings, as on most Corinthian plates (Callipolitis-Feytmans, , BCH lxxxvi (1962) 117 ff.) and the Tocra plates.

20 Kardara 278, fig. 270; JHS 1(1930) 84, fig. 3.

21 Kardara 281, fig. 279; also the big half rosette with double outline and pointed bases to the black hearts of the leaves. Schiering, Beil. 2 (Euphorbos Group).

22 Kardara 279, fig. 271 and both the Oxford plates. The feature is incised in Corinthian Transitional and E.C., cf. NC pls. 11 bis, 26. 7.

23 BCH lxxxv (1961) 98 ff.

24 Ibid. 107, fig. 7.

25 Kraiker, Aigina pl. 47; Kubier, Altatt. Malerei pl. 74.

26 Jeffery, , Local Scripts 308 β. 4.

27 Discussed by Brown in The Etruscan Lion 125 ff.

28 Clara Rhodos iv. 198 f., figs. 208, 209; CVA Rodi i, pl. 16. 4 (all these illustrations effectively hide the lion's head). The accompanying pottery is Attic, no later than the third quarter of the sixth century. Cf. Brown 127.

29 Diehl, , AA 1964 599, fig. 49, as East Greek. On these vases see Shefton in Perachora ii 384 (pieces from Perachora, Olympia, Sparta). Cf. the apparently Attic clay imitation of a similar lion-head attachment on a different shape, Akr. Vasen i, pl. 112. 2682.

30 The Pennsylvania party also made soundings in 1962; Expedition v (1963) 20; COWA ii, Area 9, 1962, p. 11. On its probable foundation from Cyrene, see Fraser, , Bull. Soc. Roy. Alex, xxxix (1951) 137 f.

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Annual of the British School at Athens
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  • EISSN: 2045-2403
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