The date of the destruction of the Archaic temple based on ceramic evidence
By Julie Bentz
Two different Corinthian shapes from Deposits A and B, a pouring vessel and a container, indicate that the destruction occurred after the beginning of the second quarter of the 5th century, but before mid-century. Among pouring vessels, the broad-bottomed oinochoe is one of the most common Corinthian conventionalizing shapes.
101 It originates in the second quarter of the 6th century as a replacement for the round aryballos,102 and continues well into the fourth.103 1 with a tall, fairly narrow cylindrical body, finds its best parallels in Well 1934-10 at Corinth.104 Particularly close is C-34-1186105 which has a lotus-palmette chain like that of 1 on the body, as well as red and black tongues on the shoulder. There are also similarities with the Vrysoula Workshop, which dates at or just before the middle of the 5th century.106 The date of 1 should thus not be much before the late second quarter of the 5th century.
2 is an unglazed stepped lekanis lid, fire-burnt. Palmer dates a single unglazed lekanis, North Cemetery 283-4, ca. 480-470, but considers it the first experiment in the unglazed series.107 CP730, which Palmer dates just slightly later than 283-4, instead belongs late in the second quarter of the century.108 The main series of unglazed lekanides does not begin until ca. 460-450. 2 should be later than 283-4.109
Burnt Attic imports, all drinking vessels, confirm the evidence of the local pottery. 3 is an unribbed mug of Pheidias shape, It is fire-burnt, and as such provides some of the best evidence for dating the destruction of the Archaic temple to ca. 470-450. The Pheidias mug develops in the second quarter of the 5th century, though not at the very beginning of the quarter century.110 These plain black mugs evolve directly from the plump, ovoid mugs of the late first/early second quarter of the 5th century, which are found in abundance at Isthmia.111 The Pheidias mug has a base which is smaller in proportion to the height, a distinctly ovoid convex body, and a neck that rises almost vertically from the shoulder. The neck becomes progressively smaller, the body slenderer, with more contraction to the foot, as the century progresses.112
A complete example of the type, similar to 3 and also fire-burnt, is found in the northwest area in fill beneath the Classical road. It has the word inscribed on the underside.113 The shape clearly falls within the second quarter of the 5th century. Its body is distinctly slenderer and less plump than Athenian Agora P5150 (480-470),114 although both display the same very slight articulation at the shoulder/neck juncture. The neck is, however, less developed than Athenian Agora P15040 (ca. 450).115 The body of the latter is similar to the , but P15040 has the false disk foot typical of mugs of the second half of the 5th century, and the neck/shoulder articulation is much more distinct, almost a ridge. This same type of neck, distinctly articulated from the body and curving through ninety degrees to the everted lip, is found on 3, thus placing it close to the middle of the century.
Both the above examples from Isthmia have plain walls. The ribbed variety, however, is more popular, especially in the second half of the 5th century.116 Although the ribbed Pheidias mug continues to be found in considerable numbers at Isthmia throughout the 5th century,117 none of the ribbed mugs show traces of burning. Thus, it is likely that the fire occurred ca. 470-450, when the Pheidias mug was already in production, but before the ribbed version had fully displaced the plain one.
4 is a small Attic skyphos related to the Hermogenean Class, decorated with careless silhouette palmettes. It is identical in shape to two skyphoi at Corinth dated ca. 480-470,118 and unlike later examples of the same shape.119 Most vases of the Hermogenean Class found at Corinth belong to the middle of the 5th century,120 but 4 resembles the early variants, not the class itself.121