Bassae Frieze

Bassae Frieze

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The Bassae Frieze is the high relief marble sculpture in 23 panels, 31m long by 0.63m high, made to decorate the interior of the cella of the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae. It was discovered in 1811 by Carl Haller and Charles Cockerell, and excavated the following year by an expedition of the Society of Travellers led by Haller and Otto von Stackelberg. This team cleared the temple site in an endeavour to recover the sculpture, and in the process revealed it was part of the larger sculptural programme of the temple including the metopes of an external Doric frieze and an over-life-size statue. The find spots of the internal Ionic frieze blocks were not recorded by the early archaeologists, so work on recreating the sequence of the frieze has been based on the internal evidence of the surviving slabs and this has been the subject of controversy.

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