The Ionic order was formed during the Archaic period and its use spread from Ionia -where it first appeared- to the Cyclades, Attica and a part of Macedonia, while exceptionally it is used in the Greek west.
In contrast to the Doric column, the Ionic one is thinner and has more and deeper grooves (20 to 24), the edges of which are not sharp but flat. In some temples of Ionia (Ephesus, Didyma), the lower part of the columns is adorned by reliefs. The column is decorated by a capital consisting of a convex part, two volutes and a square plate, called an abacus. The spirals in the Archaic period are equal in length, while later on, they narrow down in the middle of their outer side. The spirals of the volutes are sometimes replaced by rosettes and the echinus is decorated with an Ionic or Lesbian wave. The Ionic capital was influenced by foreign elements while the Doric is a purely Greek creation. The oldest Ionic capitals found on Lesbos and Troy are aeolian because they have two volutes, between which an anthem develops, and at their base there is usually a leafy decoration.
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