Field Report

Erotes on the Euphrates: A Figured Frieze in a Private House at Hellenistic Jebel Khalid on the Euphrates

Significant fragments of figured frieze
Significant fragments of figured frieze

This paper presents new evidence for Hellenistic wall painting in the Near East and proposes a reconstruction of a Masonry Style painted wall at Jebel Khalid, with figured frieze, on the model of painted walls in Hellenistic houses at Delos and elsewhere in the Hellenistic world. This is the first figured frieze to be published from Hellenistic Syria. Its iconography belongs firmly to the Hellenistic artistic tradition, and its discovery in a military settlement in a remote part of northern Syria raises the question of which was the cogent influence: the Macedonian tradition of fine wall painting, which may have come with the settlers, or subsequent trading connections with the Aegean islands and Asia Minor. I hope that the paper will form a starting point for research into the regional characteristics of wall painting in the Seleucid period.


DOI: 10.3764/aja.113.2.231