Open Context

Descriptive Variable Value(s)
Type Male Votaries with Vegetal Wreaths and Fillets and Sculpted Votive Offerings
Title Votary Right Hand with Phiale
Excavation Unit 46
Stratigraphic Unit 4634
Context Found on the surface of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary, immediately south (the interior) of the northern section of the peribolos (EU 46/ SU 4634).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 19.5
Date 480 – 30 BCE
Width (cm) 14.8
Thickness (cm) 9.6
Weight (kg) 1.69
Description Over- life-size limestone right hand holding a phiale, broken at the wrist. A large break runs along the index finger, with smaller chips present at the fingertips. The flaring rim of the phiale is also broken. The hand delicately cradles the phiale by the tips of the fingers, anchored by the thumb along the top/rim of the vessel. The hand is large and fleshy, with well-articulated fingers and fingernails. The shallow phiale is decorated along its body with a series of low- relief, petal-shaped flutes. The interior of the vessel is flat and undecorated. Black natural discolorations passim. Tool marks, including knife and chisel, observable.
Commentary The shallow bowl, or phiale, is one of many hand-held attributes common on Cypriot limestone sculptures of the Archaic-–Hellenistic periods; other examples include birds and other animals, branches, pyxides, fruits, and flowers. Yet, while other attributes are usually identified as votive offerings, the phiale is an object of ritual action, imbued with religious connotations associated with libations. On Cyprus, in addition to votaries (e.g., Hermary and Mertens 2015: 92-–94, cat. no. 86) and even divine figures (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 320-–21, cat. no. 448) holding phialaei in association with religious activity;, the bowlsy are also closely associated with funerary rites (e.g., representations on both grave reliefs and decorated sarcophagi;, see Hermary and Mertens 2015: 343, 363–70, cat. nos. 478;, 363-370, cat. no. 491). Two elaborately decorated examples in limestone are found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 219-–20, cat. nos. 286, 287). Comparisons with these, as well as with bronze and silver phialaei (Markoe 1985), suggest that the body decoration found on AAP-AM-4457 represents a translation of metal into stone, perhaps stylized petdals of a rosette or lotus. The fragmentary piece is difficult to date, but the scale and quality of carving is consistent with limestone votaries produced in the Classical and Hellenistic periods (an argument also made for AAP-AM-1072).
Bibliography Toumazou et al. 2015: 214, fig. 8B.
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Suggested Citation

Kevin Garstki, Erin Averett, Derek Counts. "AAP-AM-4457 from Cyprus/Athienou-Malloura". (2020) 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 (Eds.) . Released: 2020-07-28. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/subjects/5e9f3e53-33d9-4099-ae20-108f496800b7> ARK (Archive): https://n2t.net/ark:/28722/k2m61vw0n

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