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Pamphylian Architectural Decoration in the Second Century AD: Purely Derivative or an Independent Tradition?
Simon YOUNG*

In the second century AD the cities of Pamphylia were significant centers of creativity in terms of architectural decoration. These cities had used marble that was brought from close vicinities, probably Afyon, and contained workshops that were continuously producing high quality decorative elements for sarcophagi and building designs. The sarcophagi must have been highly valuable because of the decorations on them, as can be inferred from the fact that they were exported to Rome and other centres. Concurrently, the Emperor Hadrian had initiated the building designs reflecting the architecture of Asia Minor in Rome of the second century AD.

It is still assumed that the marble used in Pamphylia came from the Marmara quarries and the masters were also trained there. This study questions and examines this approach; it proposes that there existed permanent workshops and a decoration tradition in Pamphylia also before the 'Hadrianic Baroque'. This study argues furthermore that the Pampyhlian masters were the inheritors of an art tradition that processed marble from the Afyon region, and that they were not trained with a method known as the 'Pergamene School' by the craftsmen travelling with the marble from Marmara.

The author of this study brings up that a presentation of the 'Pergamene School' as the source of the significance of the craftsmen from this school in the revival of sculpture during the reign of Hadrian, which is referred to as the 'Hadrianic Baroque', and of the sculpting style in Pamphylia, is not relying on reliable evidence and valid reasons.

The author does not only mention the permanence of the Hellenistic Pergamene sculpture tradition, which emerged in Pamphylia with the founding of the city of Attaleia, but touches also upon the details observed on the Side N1 temple, which dates to 71 AD and can be considered an obvious pioneer of the Temple of Venus and the city of Rome of 121 AD in respect of these details. The author, thus, proposes a very convincing argument to search for one or more sculpture centres in the Pamphylia region and brings forward that the style known as the 'Hadrianic Baroque' was influenced by this long-established Pamphylian style rather than the 'Pergamene School'. The decoration style unique to Pamphylia has created a high demand for the work of the craftsmen from this region even outside Pamphylia, especially during the Greek - Hellenistic revival in the second century AD.

The conclusions derived in this study rely on previous scientific researches and the archaeological findings related to the possible origin of the marble used for Pamphylian sarcophagi.

*Simon Young, 79 Tait St. Renown Park, South Australia.

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