Statues of lions, sphinxes and kouroi soon to make an official appearance

The new sphinx discovered along with the kouros is dated from 560 BC, and considered to be the twin of another found at the same place in 1907 and currently displayed in the National Archaeological Museum. The lions, however, have not been so lucky. One of them was broken in two, while the other was fortunately found in an excellent condition. Of particular interest to archaeologists is the fact that until now, only a few fragments of funerary lions had been found from the early archaic period of Athens. Based on its characteristics, this lion probably dates from the first half of the sixth century BC. As for the kouros, according to Niemeier, its creator marked the beginning of a period in Attic art that culminated half a century later with the world of Pheidias. Although the sculptor’s name is unknown, archaeologists have named him the Dipylon Sculptor, hence the importance of this latest find. The third kouros has been in New York’s Metropolitan Museum since 1932, and although similar in some ways to the other two, it does not have the same quality or expressive power. Therefore it has been attributed to others working with the Dipylon Sculptor. The German Archaeological Institute will present all of the findings, which have already received much media attention, at an official ceremony on May 28.