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A Bust of Antinous from Perge
A portrait bust from Perge from the street designated as Y1 on the eastern side of the north-south colonnaded street in Perge in 1990 campaign was completed with the left chest and part of the left arm encountered in 1992, during the clearance of the insula to the south of the street. Their findspots are in two insulae in proximity with each other. This work has been on display in Antalya Museum (inv. 12.35.90).
The bust rendered in the type of Trajan’s Decennalial busts shows a young man, naked with both arms extending down. The head is lowered and turned to the left shoulder. His gently arched brows have hairs delineated. The almond-shaped and large eyes are wide open. The irises are incised, while the pupils are lightly drilled with a single hole. The tear-ducts have an additional drop-shaped drill channel. What is left of the nose suggests that it was rather fleshy and straight without any depression at the nasion. The cheeks are smooth and lips are full and soft with very faint naso-labial lines. The hair is full and tousled. Comma-shaped fluffy locks form an irregularly whirling pattern at the crown of the head. From the eye of the whirligig, a parting line continues to the forehead, just slightly off-center to its left. Locks of hair fall low onto the forehead. More than half of both ears are concealed by hair. The hair is cut off in one single curve on the nape and is shaped only roughly.
Based on bust form, nudity, pose and disposition, the bodily and facial features, and the hairstyle it is possible indeed to associate the Perge bust with Antinous, the young lover of Emperor Hadrian. Similar differences are observed on other portraits from Perge depicting emperors and their family members. In addition to information regarding identity, craftsmanship characteristics ascribes the work’s date to ca. A.D. 130-138. The Perge bust may have come from one of the private or official houses or may have been brought there from a house somewhere else – various possibilities and questions are cited above.

* Prof. Dr. İnci Delemen
İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Klasik Arkeoloji Anabilim Dalı, Laleli - İstanbul

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