Architrave relief from the Temple of Athena at Assos with a scene of Herakles and Centaurs

Greek, East Greek
Archaic Period
about 540–525 B.C.

Findspot: Anatolia (Turkey), Troad, Assos (Behramkale), Foundations of the rampart at southwest angle

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 019; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references); Highlights: Classical Art (MFA), p. 038-039.


Height: 82 cm (32 5/16 in.); width: 248 cm (97 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


On View

Evanthea and Leo Condakes Gallery (Gallery 113A)


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

The taenia and regula (without guttae) of a Doric architrave are at the top of the block, a similar taenia at the bottom, and a narrower, raised band at the right end. Within this frame appears the adventure of Herakles with the centaurs of Mount Pholoë. The upper part of the centaur Pholos, the host of Herakles, is preserved at the left end. He is bearded, nude, and has human forelegs. He holds a large wine cup in his right hand, and lifts his left in a gesture of astonishment.

In front of him Herakles, beardless and nude, stands in profile to the right, bending forward, with his left leg advanced. He is drawing his bow, while before him three centaurs flee rapidly to the right. All three are bearded and have human forelegs. The first and third look back as they run, and carry what appear to be clubs, one in his right, the other in his left hand. The centaur in the middle is without a weapon, stretching out one arm in front and one behind him. The lower parts of all three centaurs are exactly alike; the left foreleg is advanced and the equine hind legs are placed side by side. The hind legs of two of the centaurs overlap the thigh of the following figure.

Broken in two, the relief is incomplete and broken irregularly, at the left end; the upper right-hand corner has been broken off. The surfaces are worn, both chipped and weathered. The surfaces are now a crusty brown.


From the temple of Athena at Assos (Behramkale, Turkey); foundations of the rampart at the southwest angle of the citadel. 1881: excavated by the Archaeological Institute of America; gift of the Archaeological Institute of America to MFA, January 1884.

Credit Line

Gift of the Archaeological Institute of America