‘Most things in Greece’, so Pausanias tells us, ‘are subject to dispute.’ Nowadays, however, the chronological development at least of archaic and early classical art is no longer regarded as a matter for controversy. Indeed so little dispute remains that the art of this period is being used with increasing confidence to reconstruct the social, political and economic history of Greece. Before new orthodoxies arise, however, it may be in order to question some of the old ones by re-examining the ‘fixed points’ on which the chronology of Greek art is based. These points of contact between art and history are familiar. They include, for example, the sack of Hama in Syria, Thucydides' dates for the western colonies, the siege of Old Smyrna, the Greek occupation of Tell Defenneh and other Egyptian sites, the construction of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi, the youthful careers of Athenian kaloi (notably those of Leagros, son of Glaukon, and of his son Glaukon), ostraca, the Marathon tumulus and the Persian sack of Athens.
In this paper we evaluate the evidence of two well-known buildings which are generally thought to have been constructed in the sixth century BC. We argue that available evidence may not require this chronological conclusion. We begin by attempting to demonstrate that the marble Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus at Eretria with its pedimental Amazonomachy was erected in the aftermath of the Persian Wars, not in the sixth century. We then reconsider in the light of this suggestion the traditional date of the Siphnian Treasury (c. 530–25 BC).