Walter Gauß - G. Klebinder-Gauß - C. von Rüden (eds), The Transmission of Technical Knowledge in the Production of Ancient Mediterranean Pottery, SoSchrÖAI 54 (Wien 2015).

Sabine Ladstätter, Die Türbe im Artemision. Ein frühosmanischer Grabbau in Ayasoluk/Selçuk und sein kulturhistorisches Umfeld, SoSchrÖAI 53 (Wien 2015).

Projects: Geographical Overview

The Marble from the Sanctuary of Kourion on Cyprus

Partial anastylosis of the Temple of Apollo Hyalates in Kourion (G. Ambros, 2016)
Partial anastylosis of the Temple of Apollo Hyalates in Kourion (G. Ambros, 2016)

The sanctuary of Apollo Hylates in Kourion is one of the most important cult sites of Apollo on Cyprus.The oldest architecture dates back to the Archaic period, that is, to the 6th century B.C. The Roman podium temple with frontal steps was erected over the Hellenistic predecessor. The Roman structure is a tetrastyle podium temple of Trajanic date, with columns topped by Nabatean capitals. In addition, porticoes, houses for priests and guests, buildings for supplies as well as cult objects and votive offerings, including many inscriptions, are also preserved.


The island of Cyprus itself has no supplies of marble, so that accordingly all artefacts of marble had to be imported. This circumstance made Cyprus into a key site for the understanding of the ancient marble trade. To this end, in a pilot project in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, samples of dated inscriptions from the sanctuary in Kourion were taken, in order to analyse the origin of the stone material employed and in this manner to obtain information about the political and economic networks of the island. The timespan of the inscriptions investigated stretches from the early Hellenistic period up to the 3rd century A.D.


Most of the inscriptions under investigation are kept in the museum in Episkopi and were sampled there. Small fragments, only a few millimetres in size, were removed from the reverse side or from breakage areas of the slabs. Microscopic analyses can only be carried out on somewhat larger samples, which were unfortunately not available for this project. The small samples which were obtained, however, were adequate for chemical analyses of characteristic trace elements as well as for isotope chemical investigations of the O- and C-isotopes. In the diagramme of isotopes, all investigated samples, as well as the arrays of the composition of the most important ancient marbles, are displayed in preliminary fashion.


The conducting of the analysis of trace elements is still not yet completed, so that no final results can be presented. After an initial visual assessment, however, Pentelic marble from Attica seems to have been predominant for the early inscribed slabs, whereas later Proconessian marble is also to be found. A prominently appearing marble is a flecked stone of the type Greco Scritto.


The analyses are being carried out at the Institute for Applied Geo-Sciences and Geophysics at the Montan University Leoben (Austria). The Cypriot authorities are very warmly thanked for their support on site, while Xenia Papadopoulou carried out the necessary conservation work during the sampling



All images with the kind permission of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus




Walter Prochaska (Montan University Leoben)