Architectural relief

A Phrygian relief from a wall face, a fragment of a frieze edged with a moulding. It is decorated with a carved indentation in the form of a swastika with a central perforation where a relief ornament was originally to be found. This is a left-facing swastika, or sauwastika, where the upper arm points to the left. Moreover, each of the four arms ends in a simple right-angle volute.

The swastika is a solar symbol widely used in antiquity. According to Sir Alexander Cunningham, its shape represents a monogram formed by the interlacing of the letters of the auspicious words “su-asti” written in Ashokan characters (the ancient Brahmi script of India). As to its use in Mediterranean cultures, over the 20th Century mosaics, friezes, sculptures and paintings adorned with this motif have been found in Etruscan, Roman, Sabine, Phrygian and Greek cultures.

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