Terracotta figurine of female from Cyprus. Middle Bronze Age (Middle Cypriote II-III) in date [Dan Hicks 30/4/2012]

Place details: EUROPE. Cyprus / Unknown. Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Terracotta Pottery / Pigment / ?. Processes: Handbuilt / Fire-Hardened / Painted / ?. Dimensions: Max H = 285 mm Max W = 65 mm Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: By 1908 Other Owners: Circa 1908, purchased by George Davis Hornblower at a sale in Egypt. Donated by Hornblower to the PRM in June 1921. [MdA, JC] PRM Source: George Davis Hornblower Acquired: Donated June 1921 Other Numbers: Cypriot Archaeology 063

KEYWORD: Figure / CLASS: Figure / Pottery / ?.

Object description: “Female figurine of White Painted ware. Handmade. She is represented standing in a frontal position. Long cylindrical, hollow body with pointed breasts, shown in relief. Long thin arms, grooves for fingers of both hands. The right arm is bent forward with the right hand touching the mouth; the left arm is stretched downwards, with the left hand touching the genitals. Straight, flat legs separated by a groove. Thick, tubular neck, fused with the face, open at the top. Pointed nose, depressions for eyes, mouth not shown, flat out-stretched ears. Decoration in dark brown paint. Transverse horizontal parallel bands on neck and arms. Three large parallel chevrons on body below left breast. Below the waist, a broad band filled with lattice pattern. Paint on triangular pubic area. Hair at the back is shown in vertical bands. Thick vertical bands down back of legs. Parallel chevrons arranged vertically on the back below the neck and above the waist." [Description by Karageorghis, V., 2009, p. 69] [JFK 13/11/2009]

Publications history, trails & websites: Published under catalogue number 63 on page 69 in Karageorghis, V., (2009) Cypriote Art in the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. A.G. Leventis Foundation. [JFK 09/10/2009]

Described and discussed at length on pages 169 to 171 (and illustrated (but accidentally in reverse) in black and white as figure 1 on page 169) of 'Kypriaka XV', by Vassos Karageorghis, in Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 2004 (Nicosia: Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Communications and Works, Republic of Cyprus, 2004), pp. 169-74. (Photocopy in RDF.) [JC 25 3 2009]

Illustrated in colour as figure 3 on page 89 of 'Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum', a chapter in The A. G. Leventis Foundation and the Collections of Cypriote Antiquities in Foreign Museums, by Vassos Karageorghis (Athens: A. G. Leventis Foundation, 2004); caption (also on page 89) reads: 'Terracotta nude female figurine of White Painted ware. Middle Cypriote.' Karageorghis also refers to the figurine briefly on page 88: 'the Middle Bronze Age terracotta figurine of Astarte...constitutes a unique example of the Middle Bronze Age coroplastic art of Cyprus'. [JC 21 10 2005]

Research notes: of the Leventis Foundation, Cyprus, this figurine is very rare and shows the development of the female Astarte-type figure and is therefore extremely unusual. He dates the figure as Middle Bronze Age. There is a similar figure in Cyprus in Pierides Foundation Museum, Larnaca; it is a terracotta of the same period but not an Astarte figure. Astarte: Phoenaecian goddess - but the term is used for naked female goddess figures. [MdeA 3 1 1997]