Lion's head from the sima of the Temple at Assos

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

Findspot: Anatolia (Turkey), Troad, Assos (Behramkale), Sima of temple in acropolis

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 021.


26.7 cm (10 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tufa, so-called (local volcanic stone)

On View

Evanthea and Leo Condakes Gallery (Gallery 113A)


The Ancient World


Architectural elements

This is one of the four lion’s heads that decorated the corners of the gable sima of the temple. The local volcanic stone is lighter and softer than the trachyte used for the temple as a whole; the material was consequently more suitable for sculpture. The animal was represented in the usual manner with staring eyes and widely opened jaws. Eyes were forward. Nothing remains of the mane except its border along the forehead. Three of the teeth on the left side are well preserved.
The lower jaw, the upper part of the right side, and most of the right ear are missing. The surface is considerably worn.


From Assos (Behramkale, Turkey); sima of temple in acropolis. 188?: 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