The name "Egesta" is in the larger letters at the end of the first line.
Introduction An alliance was made between Egesta (a town in NW Sicily) and Athens.This still fitted Meiggs (199) "buoyant mood" as it meant a shift of only four years.Letter-form Evolution Meiggs (19) observed that inscribing the name of archons in the prescripts of decrees was customary from the Peace of Nicias in 421 BCE onwards .However, he decided, from the inscription itself, that a dotted phi was appropriate in front of "ων" was to use letter forms to "formulate criteria" and "provide the framework" for dating fifth century Attic inscriptions that could not be dated by other means.Meiggs first tabulated dated decrees (19) and then undated decrees (19).Mattingly (19) has conveniently summarised Meiggs' criteria as follows: Mattingly (19) in reply to Meiggs (1966), argued that "spelling, grammar, idiom, formulae and vocabulary", along with historical context should contribute to dating an inscription.
Meiggs and Lewis (19) re-affirmed their commitment to letter-form dating.
They have shown (see below) that since Antiphōn was the archon in the Egesta inscription which had three-barred sigmas, there was no mass extinction of the three-barred sigma near 445 BCE.
Argument for the date 418/7 BCE Mattingly (197f) visited the Egestan region and was impressed by the realisation that the Elymite community would have been quite remote from Athens.
The marble inscription The top three lines of the stele (Wick, 1995:plate XXIII) are given below showing its 48 character stoichedon (grid) pattern and the worn character of the marble.
A possible reconstruction from Meiggs and Lewis is shown as well.
The three-barred sigma (looking like a backward Z) is second from the left and last on the right.