Figurine of a male votary

  • Collection Number ΝΓ0117
  • Date Middle Minoan I-II
    2000 b.C. - 1700 b.C.
  • Description Fragmentary figurine of a male votary holding his hands upon the chest in the standard Minoan gesture of worshiping. It has an elaborate hairstyle (long hairlocks are preserved on the back side of the head) and wears an apron in the form of a short "skirt", suspended by a plastically rendered girdle. Handmade clay figurines were the most common type of votive offering in Minoan cult areas. They are particularly ubiquitous in peak-sanctuaries, open-air places of worship on the summit of hills or mountains. This figurine may well have come from a peak sanctuary, too, most probably on the eastern part of Crete, where several figurines with similar types of apron have been discovered. During the Protoplatial or Old Palace period (ca. 1900-1700 BC), worship in the peak-sanctuaries had a strong folk character. The devotees offered to the deity clay models of animals, possibly as substitutes for actual sacrifices, as well as of human figurines in attitudes of adoration. Frequently, they offered also models of individual parts of the body (legs, arms, palms, etc.), which presumably begged a cure. Several figurines bore painted decoration. This figurine preserves extensive traces of reddish colour on the face and body.
  • Culture Minoan
  • Period Middle Bronze Age
  • Material clay
  • Dimensions H: 9.2 cm / W: 5 cm
  • Object Provenance From Crete
  • Exhbition Gallery 2nd floor / A History in Images
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