A Look from the Outside: Mediterranean Influences on the Terracotta Figurines from Seleucia on the Tigris

In: Hellenistic and Roman Terracottas

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The excavations conducted during the last century at the site of Seleucia on the Tigris brought to light over 11,000 terracotta figurines that form an extraordinarily rich repertoire, originating from the dialogue between Greek and local traditions. Figurines from Seleucia highlight close contacts with terracottas coming from the eastern Mediterranean area, showing on the other hand an equally intense bond with Mesopotamian production. This paper aims to illustrate how the encounter and exchange between Greek and local culture led to the creation of a new iconographic and formal language, resulting in a dramatic renewal of the old Mesopotamian repertoire and in a deep re-elaboration of western subjects.


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