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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Male Votaries with Conical Helmets and Other Headgear
Title Male Votary Head with Egyptianizing Headcloth and Turban
Excavation Unit 24
Stratigraphic Unit 2466
Context Found in the construction fill of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary (EU 24/SU 2466).
Current Location Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 11.3
Width (cm) 8.2
Date 550 – 525 BCE
Thickness (cm) 8.6
Weight (kg) 0.4
Description Under- life-size head of a male votary wearing a headcloth and turban, broken at the lower neck. The figure wears a plain, smooth headdress that runs across the forehead and behind the ears, falling to the shoulders. A thick, rounded band encircles the head, overlying the headcloth; the band vanishes on either side as it gives way to the flat, unworked back of the head. The fleshy, oval face is characterized by large, exophthalmic, almond-shaped eyes. The narrow brow yields to a long and proportionately large nose, which slants slightly to the proper right. The cheeks are prominent. The thin, pursed lips are set deeply into the face; an Archaic smile is clearly discernible. The chin is small and pointed and juts out from the jaw. The ears are schematic and simply shaped, yet thick and unnatural. Chisel and punch marks are visible in the separation between the hair and headdress from the face and neck; tool marks visible passim. Some modern chips and natural discoloration can be seen on the top of the head. Faint traces of red pigment are preserved on the lips.
Commentary This head falls within a tradition of mid-sixth-century BCE limestone votaries that dominate Cypriot sanctuaries in the Mesaoria pPlain. The pursed lips and large, almond-shaped eyes are consistent Archaic traits in types featuring male votaries wearing conical caps, diadems, as well as simple headcloths, as worn by AAP-AM-2132 (e.g., Hermary 1989a: 40, cat. nos. 37-–40). Several features suggest that the head may be unfinished. While exophthalmic eyes rendered in flat relief are common, the eyes of AAP-AM-2132 are not fully articulated—the upper lids protrude in high relief, while the lower lids are not delineated; likewise, the heavily stylized and roughly shaped ears are inexplicably thick as though they have not been carved back to a naturalistic depth. Finally, the nose is large and prominent—which itself is not a disqualifying feature for Cypriot statues of the period—but it retains too much of its initial “roughing out,” as though, like the ears, it still requires reduction. Granted, given the eclectic nature of Cypriot sculpture in general and the capacity of Cypriot sculptors to introduce variation and deviation into a fairly stable and conservative tradition of types and styles, it is difficult to know whether or not this statuette was indeed “‘finished”’ or perhaps just summarily sketched out for quick delivery from a local workshop. AAP-AM-2132’sThe head’s most compelling attribute is the thick, rolled, high-relief band that overlays the headcloth, identified as a separate turban but may perhaps simply be rendered from the same material as the headcloth. In this case, the headcloth is a single piece of fabric with a rolled -band added across the forehead to the back. Similar headgear can be found on a series of heads in the British Museum (Senff 1993: 53-–55, pl. 37 [BM C77, C78, and C79]). An exact parallel for the rolled cloth comes from a limestone statuette from Kazaphani (along the north- central coast in the Kyrenia region); in this case, the presence of a dagger might suggest either a warrior or, more likely (absent a sheath and/or other military garb), a priest or religious official prepared for sacrifice (Karageorghis 1978: 184, no. 58). Still, there is no explicit connection to sacrifice among other examples in limestone, where the turban is often rendered fully around the head and associated with bearded figures (as in the example from Kazaphani; see also comments in Sørensen 1994: 83); examples include three heads from Idalion (Senff 1993: 53-–55) and Golgoi (Hermary 1989a: 260, cat. no. 529). Indeed, the headgear on a smaller-scale, beardless male is rare. Various forms of the turban— – while not always described as such— – also appear on terracotta figurines performing a variety of functions (e.g., Karageorghis 1995: pls. I: 2, III: 16, IV: 5 and 9, VI: 4, VII: 4, XI: 2 and 4, XVII: 1, 5, and 8, XXIV: 2, XXV: 1, XLII: 8, LXXIV: 4, 5). Finally, Antoine Hermary has argued that some forms of the turban, which include not only the rolled cloth, but also a front-to-back central band, might be linked to the “mitra” worn by Cypriot kings described in Herodotus, Histories 7.90 (Hermary 1989a: 262, cat. no. 532,; Hermary 1989b: 180-–81).
Bibliography Unpublished
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-2132 from Europe/Cyprus/Athienou-Malloura". In Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models. Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, Michael Toumazou (Ed). Released: 2020-07-28. Open Context. <> ARK (Archive):

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