Votive stele to Artemis Anaïtis and Men Tiamu

Roman Provincial
Imperial Period
about A.D. 196

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 287; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 113 (additional published references).


Height: 72 cm (28 3/8 in.); width: 43 cm (16 15/16 in.); depth: 6 cm (2 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, from Ushak or Aphrodisias, western Turkey

Not On View


The Ancient World



The pedimental (?) molding at the top is mutilated; the right side has been broken irregularly; and the bottom edge has suffered in a similar manner.
A man, his wife, and their two children are shown standing frontally, their right hands raised in the act of offering prayers. They all wear chitons and himations.
The inscription below reads (in translation):
“To Artemis Anaïtis and Men Tiamu: Musaes, son of Musaes, and Kalligeneia his consort, on behalf of Musaes their son, in testimony to the powers of the gods, have paid their vow. In the year 281, the 10th of the month Dios.” According to the era of the Roman general Sulla, this would be A.D. 196 to 197. The relief belongs to a group, restudied by E.N. Lane, which is important because these monuments are precisely dated and because they document the course of Greco-Roman “rustic” or folk sculpture in the areas away from the Aeolic and Ionian coasts of western Asia Minor. This relief is of good quality. The arrangement of the family combines Hellenistic plasticity with provincial stiffness and elongation in a way which anticipates some of the best aspects of East Greek Late Antique and Byzantine imperial or Christian sculpture.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8477: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.2 / delta18O -4.0,

Attribution - Ushak or Aphrodisias (city quarries), Turkey. Justification - C and O isotopes, coarse grain


In possession of the old "Boston Museum," a hall attached to a theater, for forty or fifty years. Said to have come from the Levant. Presumably from the region of Kula in Lydia; gift of Mrs. Charles Amos Cummings to MFA, January 1894

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Charles Amos Cummings