Female figurine of a priestess(?)

  • Collection Number Ζ0359
  • Date Cypro-Archaic II
    600 b.C. - 480 b.C.
  • Description Figurine of a standing female in characteristic pose with the hands supporting the breasts. She wears lavish garments and copious jewellery. The figurine has been modeled in a double mould and is hollow. Details are picked out in red and black paint, easy to flake-off. Figurines of females holding their breasts are known from various sites on Cyprus (Amathous, Idalion, Tamassos etc.). This particular type is especially common at Achna, in the Larnaca region, where there is an Archaic sanctuary of the Great Goddess. Most researchers interpret the figurines as representing priestesses. Others, however, believe that they refer to the cult statue of the deity or that they are images of worshipers who deposited them in sanctuaries as a token of eternal faith. Their interpretation as priestesses is bolstered by their richly embellished ceremonial garments and by the pendants with seal rings hanging below their breasts. The garments perhaps render the sacerdotal vestments worn during rites celebrated in honour of the Cypriot goddess, while the hieratic girdle (the ends of which are visible under the short chiton) alludes to the "magical girdle", which was one of the most important attributes of Aphrodite (Iliad XIV, 214).
  • Culture Cypriot
  • Period Archaic period
  • Material clay
  • Dimensions H: 35 cm / W: 10.3 cm
  • Object Provenance From Achna, Famagusta (Cyprus)
  • Exhbition Gallery 3rd floor / Cypriot Art
Landscape view is not supported.
Please rotate your device to portrait view.