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Isabelle Tassignon

Abstract

The starting point of our discussion will be a few fragmentary Hellenistic terracotta statuettes from the acropolis of Amathous that depict a woman holding a young child against her shoulder. The type has been interpreted as a variation on the theme of Aphrodite with Eros. However, recent excavations in the storage area of the palace unearthed a limestone statuette of Aphrodite, resting on a column, holding a child. Stone statuette and terracotta fragments seem to evoke the same original. Another work, from the sanctuary, adds to the attempted reconstruction of the original: it is a curious limestone bust of a woman, headless, but in a pose that seems to derive from the same iconographic model.

As we shall see, the analysis of the archaeological contexts of the respective finds suggests close links with the sanctuary of Aphrodite. We propose to place this iconographic type in the overall context of the kourotrophos goddess in Cyprus and thus determine the influence of local traditions on the type. Locally produced for a very special sanctuary, these terracottas have some specific characteristics but are based on a limestone model, which itself adapts a Hellenistic model to local demands. Can the reconstructed image be that of a cult statue coming from the very sanctuary?

Series:

Marianna Castiglione

Abstract

The Egyptianising terracotta figurines from Kharayeb, a shrine that is dated between the seventh and first centuries BCE, and it is located in the hinterland of Tyros, is analysed in order to show that the Egyptian influence was probably limited to the adoption of some technical, artistic and iconographic elements, without more significant religious implications. The recent study and reassessment of this Hellenistic figurine assemblage offers the opportunity to explore the “Alexandrian phenomenon” in the local coroplastic production, while the comparison with other classes of artefacts gives insights into the society, economy and art of this part of the Mediterranean during the formation of the so-called “Hellenistic world”.1

Series:

Frauke Gutschke

Abstract

There are many hypotheses regarding the function and the meaning of the so-called “dolls”, a widespread type of terracotta during Classical and Hellenistic times. Two main streams in the interpretation of the type can be recognised. According to one, the figurines should be seen as ordinary toys, because they have movable limbs. The other asserts that the terracottas should be seen as religious votive or funerary items, because of the archaeological contexts, in which they are found.

In this article, I attempt to demonstrate how these two hypotheses could be combined. A thorough investigation will show the relation between the domestic and the religious spheres and will answer questions about continuity and change of function and meaning of objects, when these move from one sphere to the other. These terracotta figurines are very rarely found in a domestic context, and never in a context that proves their use in a given house. So, a direct change from a secular (house) context to a religious (temple) or funerary (grave) context cannot be proved archaeologically. However, the use of these terracottas in burials and votive deposits, i.e. their occurrence in non-secular contexts, is evidenced by the vast majority of the finds and contexts, in which these ceramic artefacts are found. So, a secular looking terracotta type that has the features of a toy (movable limbs) occurs almost exclusively in graves and temple deposits. In this contribution I discuss processes that take place in the Greek votive industry when changing a secular object into a specific, votive one. Questions like how the change of the final destination of an object can influence the changes in its characteristics will also be addressed.

Series:

Constantina Benissi

Abstract

Τhis paper presents seven Hellenistic terracotta statuettes depicting male and female figures with diptychs found in a deposit also containing numerous figurines of children, and clearly associated with the Euboean sanctuary of Artemis Amarysia. Figures holding diptychs as an iconographic type are reviewed and the motif is incorporated into the social and educational context of the period. The figurines as votive offerings and their connection to rites of passage is also investigated, taking into account the nature of Artemis and the rituals attested in her sanctuaries, as well as the significance of the sanctuary to its founding city, Eretria.

Series:

Anja Ulbrich

Abstract

This article discusses Late Classical to Hellenistic and possibly Roman terracottas in the Ashmolean’s collection of Cypriot antiquities, most of them hitherto unpublished. Presented in rough chronological order by provenance, context and iconographic types, their production techniques, iconographies and styles will be analysed. This reveals that on the one hand, deeply rooted Cypriot traditions, which had incorporated influences from neighbouring regions of the Mediterranean for centuries, were maintained, while, on the other hand, new Late Classical and Hellenistic influences from the wider Greek world were adopted and adapted selectively. By the end of the Hellenistic period, terracotta figurine production in Cyprus was firmly integrated into the eastern Mediterranean Hellenistic koine.

Series:

Nancy Serwint

Abstract

The ancient sites of Marion and Arsinoe, located in North-West Cyprus, have produced an unprecedented number of terracotta sculptural materials, and with a corpus numbering over 30,000 fragments, the recovered objects form the largest cache of sculpture in clay yet found on the island. Encompassing a diversity of iconographic types and sizes with a chronological span extending from the Cypro-Archaic into the Hellenistic period, the material provides an excellent dataset to which numerous questions about the coroplastic arts can be posed. Study of the corpus reveals that marked differences exist between the terracottas of Archaic/Classical Marion and Hellenistic/Roman Arsinoe, and those differences are critical to the discussion of how sculptural production developed and how terracottas functioned over time at a single location. Different contexts dictated disparate iconographic types and distinct typological forms. Close examination of key archaeological remains has allowed for identification of local terracotta production, providing important details given the relative paucity in the scholarly literature on coroplastic technical strategies.

Series:

Argyroula Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou and Polyxeni Arachoviti

Abstract

During the last 35 years, the excavations at the ancient city of Pherai, in Thessaly, have brought to light rich material, as well as important documentation relating to the production of terracotta figurines, as part of the intensive activity of the Pheraian ceramic workshops of the Hellenistic period. In this paper some characteristics of the local production are presented by referring to the workshops and the techniques, the contextualisation, the chronology and the use of the terracotta figurines at the city of Pherai, as well as to the possible relationships and influences from other regions.1

Series:

Eleni Asderaki-Tzoumerkioti, Manos Dionyssiou, Argyroula Doulgeri-Intzesiloglou and Polyxeni Arachoviti

Abstract

Non-invasive XRF analyses analysis has been performed on more than 250 terracotta figurines from Pherai in order to determine the quality of the pigments that have survived on their surface, as well as other materials that have been used for their decoration. During the analysis the existence of tin metal foil was revealed. In most cases it is poorly preserved and obscured by a thick layer of soil and salts. Tin foil was identified in 10% of the examined pieces, and the results have been confirmed with a scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectrometer (SEM-EDS). The thickness of the foil was also measured, and the organic binding medium, with which it was attached to the surface of the figurines, was determined.1

Series:

Eustathios Raptou

Abstract

The paper aims to present developments in archaeological research in the area of Polis Chrysochous, in north-western Cyprus, resulting from excavations carried out by the Department of Antiquities over the last decade. Recent investigations, both within the ancient city, which lies under the modern town of Polis, and the surrounding countryside, have brought to light a number of sanctuaries, either newly founded in the Hellenistic period, or showing continuous use from Archaic to Hellenistic times. Finds from these sanctuaries are indicative of the developments that took place in cultic practice, iconography and techniques of terracotta production in this area through time down to the period of Ptolemaic rule. Figurine groups include iconographical types that follow old traditions, as well as a variety of imported Greek models, thus allowing some suggestions regarding the adoption of Greek deities in local worship, as well as the possible existence of different workshops in the city and its periphery.