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.
This relates to the shape of Greek alphabet letters and how they evolved over time.
Kavvadias (1897) first drew attention to an earlier form of sigma () on the Athena Nike inscription.
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 .
Meiggs mentioned the alliance with Egesta as an example of this practice and so a date for the Egestan alliance after 421 BCE was indicated.