APHRODISIAN MARBLE FROM THE GOKTEPE QUARRIES: THE LITTLE BARBARIANS, ROMAN COPIES FROM THE ATTALID DEDICATION IN ATHENS


Attanasio D., Bruno M., Prochaska W., YAVUZ A. B.

PAPERS OF THE BRITISH SCHOOL AT ROME, vol.80, pp.65-87, 2012 (AHCI) identifier identifier

Abstract

The marble of seven under-lifesize sculptures of barbarians, now in the archaeological museums of Naples, Venice and the Vatican, commonly considered to be Roman copies of the Pergamene Lesser Dedication in Athens, comes from the Goktepe marble quarries near Aphrodisias, as is shown by isotopic, electron paramagnetic resonance, trace analyses, and of petrographic data. Since this marble was used mostly by Aphrodisian artists, this finding confirms, on the basis of scientific data, previous hypotheses on the origin of the sculptors who manufactured the statues. Reliable discrimination from similar fine-grained Asiatic marbles, such as Docimium, is possible primarily on the basis of the composition of the Goktepe marbles, which have unusually low concentrations of manganese and high concentrations of strontium. Present knowledge of the history of the quarries and the distribution of their marbles seems to rule out the possibility that the sculptures date from the late Republican period and supports the opinion, previously proposed on stylistic grounds, that they were manufactured in Rome by Aphrodisian sculptors probably during the first half of the second century AD.