An overview of loss compensation in the Athenian Agora

Alice Boccia Paterakis

Abstract

A series of case studies are presented which exemplify decisions regarding the compensation of
artifacts from the Agora Excavations in antiquity and in modern times. The artifacts represent
utilitarian, votive, military, honorary and architectural functions and include 5th and 4th c. B.C.
bronze statuary and a bronze shield, a 4th c. B.C. ceramic water clock (klepsydra), a marble ionic
capital from the 2nd c. B.C. Stoa of Attalos, the marble stage facade from the 1st c. B.C. Odeion
of Agrippa, a Roman ivory statuette of Apollo, 5th c. B.C. red figure kraters, Hellenistic and
Byzantine ceramics, and human skulls from various periods. The decisions regarding the type and extent of compensation are shown to be influenced by numerous factors which include 1) the uniqueness and degree of preservation of the artifact, 2) the availability of physical and literary evidence to support the compensation, and 3) the destination and function of the object after treatment.

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