from 19/06/1998 until 31/01/1999

Iberian Antiquities

From the Shelby White - Leon Levy Collection


Exhibited were seventy Iberian objects from the New York based 'Shelby White and Leon Levy Collection of Antiquities'. They are representative works of the cultures that flourished in the Iberian Peninsula from the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. to the Roman conquest.

The earliest among the exhibits were the trapezoidal slate idols, with one or two suspension holes, and the marble cylindrical idols, believed to represent the so-called 'Millaran Eye Goddess', a symbol of fertility and resurrection. They belong to the Millaran Culture, which developed in the southern and the eastern part of the Peninsula, and are dated from circa 2000 to 1800/1700 B.C.

The exhibition included a large number of bronze votive figurines from the Iberian sanctuaries located in physical settings, such as gorges, grottoes, and caves. The majority has been found in the sanctuary caves of Castellar and Despenaperros in the province of Juan in Andalusia. Various types of ex-votos were represented: priest and warrior figures, male and female worshippers, equestrian figures and animal figurines.

Schist-plaque figurine from the Los Milliares culture (2000-1800 B.C.). These objects have been assumed to be abstract representations of deities, decorated with incised geometric patterns. The two holes on top may have indicated eyes.

Included in the exhibition were also jewellery in gold, silver and bronze, representative examples of Early Iberian metalworking, and in particular of the portable art of the Celtiberian Culture which developed in the central highlands of the Peninsula from the 6th to 1st centuries B.C.

The Iberian Antiquities were complemented with Late Iberian pottery (2nd-1st century B.C.) from the region of Liria (San Miguel de Liria) on the eastern coast of the Peninsula.



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