Female figurine of the Spedos variety


The "Spedos variety", named after an Early Cycladic cemetery on Naxos, is the most prolific category of "canonical" figurines· it has the widest distribution within the Cyclades as well as elsewhere, and the greatest longevity. The group as a whole includes figurines ranging in height from miniature examples of 8 cm. to monumental sculptures of 1.50 m. With the exception of a statue of a male figure, now in the Museum of Cycladic Art Collection, all known works of the Spedos variety are female figures. The illustrated example displays the characteristic traits of the type: lyre-shaped head with wide forehead, angular shoulders, incisions indicating the arms, the pubic triangle and the joints, almost total lack of modelled features (e.g. breasts). The swollen abdomen, which seems to show the state of pregnancy, is a feature observed on several female figurines and has led researchers to interpret them as fertility deities. However, such an interpretation cannot be taken for granted, since many of the features regarded as female (such as the swollen belly, breasts, abdominal creases) are sometimes encountered on male figurines too. These paradoxes may indicate a certain degree of carelessness in rendering particular anatomical details (for instance, the feet on this figurine have four toes each). However, the use of figurines may well have been more complex than we can imagine and the variety of types may reflect their different functions.

Collection Number



Early Bronze Age (Πρώιμη Εποχή του Χαλκού)


marble (μάρμαρο)


Cycladic (Κυκλαδικός)


Υ: 15,2 εκ. / Πλ.: 4,8 εκ.

Exhbition Gallery

1st floor / Cycladic Art