In 1950, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology began excavations at the ancient Phrygian capital of Gordion in central Turkey. The Museum's Gordion Project continues today, with researchers from many disciplines and with many specializations contributing to a growing-and sometimes changing-body of information and understanding about this complex and multifaceted site, inhabited by peoples and diverse civilizations for millennia. In this volume of Gordion Special Studies, Lynn E. Roller focuses on a series of stone blocks with incised figural and abstract drawings recovered from early Phrygian structures at Gordion. The great majority of the incised stones come from a single structure within the Early Phrygian citadel at Gordion known as Megaron 2, a stone building with several remarkable features and a likely candidate for the citadel's temple.
The volume begins with a description of the excavation of the stones and a discussion of Megaron 2. Next is an analysis of the subject matter of the drawings by type, describing scenes of human figures, animals, architectural drawings, geometric patterns, and formless marks. A discussion follows of the sources from which the drawings could have been taken and of parallels with similar scenes and designs on objects in other media from Gordion and other contemporary sites in Anatolia. The fourth section proposes an explanatory hypothesis on the origin of the drawings, and considers who could have made them and why. Parallels with comparable drawings from Anatolia and the Near East are discussed here. The final section summarizes the contribution of the drawings to our understanding of the development of the Early Phrygian material at Gordion.
University Museum Monograph, 130
Lynn E. Roller is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Davis. She is the author of In Search of God the Mother: The Cult of Anatolian Cybele and Gordion Special Studies 1: The Non-Verbal Graffiti, Dipinti, and Stamps, the latter also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.