ROOM E: SCULPTURE: STATUES, GRAVE STELAI AND ARCHITECTURAL MEMBERS
Room E (floor area 105 sq. m.) contains a display of works of sculpture, with statues, stelai and architectural members executed in marble or stone. In the cultural heritage of ancient Greece as a whole, these works are rare: as is well known, the number of original sculptures that have come down to us (and not copies from the Hellenistic or Roman eras) is very small.
Following the recommended route around the room, the first work one comes to (no. 1) is the stone grave stele with a palmette finial that was found along with its rectangular stone base in Tomb E. The curved top section of a stone stele (no. 2) comes from a surface collection made in the Necropolis: this rather plain stele, which dates from the Classical era, bears the name ΑΤΤΥΑ. Exhibit no. 3, a pedimented funerary stele of brittle limestone dating from the last quarter of the 5th century BC, is displayed in a showcase: the stele bears the name of the dead woman, ΚLΕΙΟΝΑ, in vertical script. The next object (no. 4) is the head of a bearded man from c. 500 BC that was found in Tomb Γ. The lion (no. 5) dates from the same period and stood close to Tomb E, while the head of a kore (no. 6) was found in the small cist tomb, Tomb Z. Returning to the left of the entrance to Room E, the visitor will see a plinth with the feet of a kouros (no. 7), which, as was normal for this type of statue, was over life-size (unlike the statues of korai). The fragment of a right leg displayed next to this (no. 8) is also over life-size and probably comes from the same kouros, as the similarity in the marble also suggests. In contrast, the fragment of a kouros’s hair, with its daisy-shaped locks (no. 9), is of a different kind of marble and evidently belongs to a different kouros. The upper section of the torso of a small kouros, without the head, (no. 10) was found outside Tomb A. Both its size and the type of marble it is made from, which is not of particularly good quality, suggest that it belongs to the same statue as the fragment of torso from the waist downwards (no. 11). It appears that small-sized kouroi were common in ancient Aiani since we have also found a fragment of an arm (no. 12), from the elbow to the middle of the forearm, and the palm of a right hand (no. 13), both from different statues, as is evident from the nature of the marble. A section of a right arm (probably from a life-size statue), rising up from the elbow, and a right foot have been placed on a common plinth (nos 14 and 15). Finally, the lion’s head that was found in Tomb Θ (no. 16) probably dates from the same period.
The next works of sculpture date from the Roman era (nos 17-22). They consist of the torso of a male statue, a head from a female statue, the torso of what was probably a statue of Artemis, and the heads of three important male figures, probably Roman emperors. From Rachi Tseika also comes the small Hellenistic torso of a Heracles of the Farnese type (no. 23). Next, in the section on architecture, the visitor may view the Doric capital and the two Ionic capitals from columns (nos 24, 25 and 26).
We return to the Roman period with the headless statue of a nymph in front of a perrirhanterion, a shallow ritual water basin (no. 27). Another find from the village of Ayia Paraskevi is the Roman relief grave stele (no. 28). The next three grave stelai date from the Hellenistic era. The upper section of the inscribed stele (no. 32) that preserves the heads of two figures. On the next, fragmentary stele (no. 33) it is difficult to identify exactly which divine male figure is portrayed holding a rhyton or a horn of plenty. The fragment of a stele with a frontal depiction of a female figure similar to the adjacent Kallikores (nymphs) (No.35) provides an epigraphic allusion to coins that dates from the late 2nd century AD. The stele that, according to its inscription, ‘was made by Ariston’ (no. 36), was dedicated to Hera in the 2nd or 3rd century AD while stele no.37 portrays a horseman. The next grave stele (no. 38), portrays a horseman with an attendant and a dog. This is followed by a grave stele of later date – some time in the 4th century AD (no. 39) with a representation of a couple – a man and his wife while the surviving left-hand half of a stele (no. 40) portrays a female figure in the same attitude.
The parallelepiped base of the relatively small statue (no. 41), which dates from the 1st century is the and the stele with a triangular gable and inscription set within a tabula ansata (no. 42) are the last exhibits.
Photos of room E: