Friday, November 18, 2011


Lars Karlsson, Susanne Carlsson (ed.), Labraunda and Karia. Proceedings of the international symposium commemorating sixty years of Swedish archaeological work in Labraunda. The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, Stockholm, November 20-21, 2008. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Boreas, 32. Uppsala: Uppsala Universitet, 2011. Pp. 475. ISBN 9789155479978.

Reviewed by Michael Kleu, Historisches Institut - Alte Geschichte, Universität zu Köln (

Version at BMCR home site

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

In November 2008 a symposium held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities celebrated sixty years of Swedish archaeological work at Labraunda in Karia. The results of the symposium are published in this volume, edited by Lars Karlsson and Susanne Carlsson.

In the first section (p. 7-47) Lars Karlsson begins with an overview on the history of the excavations at Labraunda, the related publications and the symposium of 2008 (p. 9-18). Next Pontus Hellström presents the ancient sources that mention Labraunda and the contemporary reports on the rediscovery of the place from the 18th century to the first half of the 20th century (p. 19-47).1

The next section (p. 51-276) deals with the sanctuary at Labraunda itself and includes 13 articles in alphabetical order by author. Abdulkadir Baran begins with an exploration of the Sacred Way and the spring houses of Labraunda, arguing that both were probably constructed or sponsored by the Hekatomnids (p. 51-98). Jesper Blid discusses the "Recent research on the churches of Labraunda" and presents new results concerning Labraunda in Late Antiquity (p. 99-108). In the next paper Jesper Carlsen takes the view that the inscription I. Labraunda 62 refers to Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus, the consul of 32 BC, and not the homonymous consul of 122 BC (p. 109-120). Next Anne Marie Carstens examines the Achaemenids in Labraunda and comes to the conclusion that Labraunda was a key position for the Hekatomnids as religious and political leaders (p. 121-131). "Who's who in Labraunda" asks Pierre Debord, in order to define the legal status of the sanctuary of Labraunda by examining the relationship between religious and political authorities in Hellenistic times (p. 133-147). "Feasting at Labraunda and the chronology of the Andrones" is the title of the second paper by Pontus Hellström in which the author argues that all Hekatomnid buildings at Labraunda have to be regarded as components of one single dynastic project (p. 149-157). Olivier Henry compares a monumental Π-shaped tomb from Labraunda with its Karian parallels, in this context drawing attention to the specific characteristic of the sanctuary at Labraunda, namely that it is surrounded by a large necropolis (p. 159-176). Together with Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström, Henry contributes to the volume with a second paper that describes a rock-cut tomb (Tomb T16) that was examined in 2008 (p. 177-197). Signe Isager presents an overview of the epigraphic tradition at Labraunda and particularly a new inscription discovered in 2002 in the sanctuary of Zeus (now together with Labraunda inscription no. 49 known as the Labraunda inscription no. 134), which is an addition to the so-called Olympichos file (p. 199-215). Lars Karlsson's second contribution refers to the forts and fortifications of Labraunda, which all belonged to one complex defensive system built by the Hekatomnids, and which were to some extent reactivated by the Byzantines in the 12th and 13th centuries, thus pointing out the strategic importance of Labraunda (217-252). The following paper examines the coins found during the excavations at Labraunda, offering very little scientific information but describing the manifold difficulties the author, Harald Nilsson, was confronted with since he started his research on the Labraunda coins in 1976 (p. 253-256). Paavo Roos describes the stadion of Labraunda, which probably dates back to the times of Mausolos and has two preserved lines of starting blocks, this being remarkable for Anatolia (p. 257-266). The last chapter of the section is written by Thomas Thieme, who gives an account of the modules and measurements at Labraunda reasoning that for the temple of Zeus another metrological standard was probably used than for the other Hekatomnid buildings at Labraunda (p. 267-276).

Section III (p. 279-459) presents in geographical order papers dealing with the surrounding landscape of Karia.2 It begins with Suat Ateşlier's examination about "The Archaic architectural terracottas from Euromos and some cult signs" (p. 279-290) which is a preliminary report on the findings of the excavations at the temple of Zeus in the years 1969-1975. According to the author the circa 800 terracotta pieces point to the existence of three or four Ionic buildings. Fede Berti writes about the agora of Iasos and reports about the recent findings along the western Stoa, which allows new insights into the chronology of the agora and the defensive circuit (p. 291-305). "Day and night at Stratonikeia" is the title of the paper written by Riet van Bremen who analyses a recently published monumental inscription from Stratonikeia (I Stratonikeia III, 1508 = SEG 55,1145) and offers considerations about its context, its date of origin and its presumable meaning (p. 307-329). "The Chrysaoreis of Caria" is described by Vincent Gabrielsen, who argues on the basis of a newly found decree from Lagina (SEG 53,1229) that the Chrysaoreis was a federal state and not just a religious league (p. 331-353). In the next paper Simon Hornblower compares the dynasty of the Hekatomnids – basically its female members – with the developments in Crete, Rhodes, Cilicia, Cyprus and Egypt where he finds precedents and models for several specifics of the Hekatomnids like female rule or sister- marriage (p. 355-362). In the next chapter Poul Pedersen inquires if the East Greek "Ionian Renaissance" of the Late Classical period was restricted to architecture and comes to the conclusion that there was a broader cultural renaissance and that Ionia was besides Athens the main source for architects, artists and intellectuals of Ptolemaic Alexandreia (365-388). Raffaella Pierobon Benoit investigates the territory of Iasos on the basis of recent surveys (2006-2008), whereupon she focuses on the eastern part of it. She confirms that the area was permanently inhabited since the Archaic period and observes that the territory was controlled by fortification walls and towers (p. 389-423). Birte Poulsen treats "Halikarnassos during the Imperial period and Late Antiquity" and contradicts - on the basis of epigraphic and archaeological material - the impression given by the ancient authors, according to which Halikarnassos had been mostly abandoned and ruined in the Imperial period and later (p. 425-443).3 The last paper of the section is contributed by Frank Rumscheid who offers the first presentation of a type of female marble statuette from Milasa and Stratonikeia. In his opinion the statuettes represent probably Aphrodite and served as burial objects (p. 445-459).

Two appendices complete the volume. The first is a nicely illustrated personal view on the Swedish excavations in Labraunda in 1951 written by Kristian Jeppesen who attended the excavation as a young student (p. 463-470). The second appendix is a chronological Labraunda bibliography by Pontus Hellström covering the years 1948 to 2010 (p. 471-475).

The volume covers a wide range of topics related to the sanctuary at Labraunda and offers an interesting overview on the Swedish excavations and the results of recent research concerning both Labraunda and Karia. All papers are provided with a bibliography and a short abstract in English. Furthermore, most chapters are illustrated with a vast amount of colored pictures, plans, maps etc.

Altogether, the volume celebrating sixty years of Swedish archaeological work at Labraunda will stimulate further work in this area and is to be recommended to everyone concerned with this subject.4

Table of Contents

Lars Karlsson: Labraunda. The excavations and the symposium 9
Pontus Hellström: Labraunda. The rediscovery 19
Abdulkadir Baran: The Sacred Way and the spring houses of Labraunda sanctuary 51
Jesper Blid: Recent research on the churches of Labraunda 99
Jesper Carlsen: I. Labraunda 62: text and context 109
Anne Marie Carstens: Achaemenids in Labraunda. A case of imperial presence in a rural sanctuary in Karia 121
Pierre Debord: Who's who in Labraunda 133
Pontus Hellström: Feasting at Labraunda and the chronology of the Andrones 149
Olivier Henry: Hellenistic monumental tombs: the Π-shaped tomb from Labraunda and Karian parallels 159
Olivier Henry /Anne Ingvarsson-Sundström: The story of a tomb at Labraunda 177
Signe Isager: The epigraphic tradition at Labraunda seen in the light of Labraunda inscription no. 134: a recent addition to the Olympichos file 199
Lars Karlsson: The forts and fortifications of Labraunda 217
Harald Nilsson: The coins from the excavations at Labraunda 253
Paavo Roos: The stadion at Labraunda 257
Thomas Thieme: Modules or measurements at Labraunda 267
Suat Ateşlier: The Archaic architectural terracottas from Euromos and some cult signs 279
Fede Berti: L'agora di Iasos alla luce delle piu recenti scoperte 291
Riet van Bremen: Day and night at Stratonikeia 307
Vincent Gabrielsen: The Chrysaoreis of Caria 331
Simon Hornblower: How unusual were Mausolus and the Hekatomnids? 355
Poul Pedersen: The Ionian Renaissance and Alexandria seen from the perspective of a Karian-Ionian lewis hole 365
Raffaella Pierobon Benoit: II territorio di lasos: nuove ricerche (2006-2008) 389
Birte Paulsen: Halikarnassos during the Imperial period and Late Antiquity 425
Frank Rumscheid: Im Grab mit Aphrodite? Kleinskulpturen aus Mylasa und Stratonikeia 445
Kristian Jeppesen: Appendix 1: Labraunda revisited 463
Pontus Hellstrom: Appendix 2: Labraunda bibliography 1948-2010 471


1.   Hellström's paper is a revised version of Pontus Hellström: The rediscovery of Labraunda in the 18th century, in: Kungl. Humanistiska Vetenskaps-Samfundet I Uppsala, Årsbok 2006, Uppsala 2007, p. 17-45.
2.   For further recent research on Karia see: Riet van Bremen and Jan-Mathieu Carbon (edd.): Hellenistic Karia, Bordeaux 2010.
3.   The paper is a shortened and reworked version of a chapter Poulsen wrote for a publication (The House of Charidemos. Halicarnassian Studies VI ) that is due to appear in 2011.
4.   For further information about the excavations see: Welcome_to_Labraunda.html

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