project banner image
Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Male Votaries with Vegetal Wreaths and Fillets and Sculpted Votive Offerings
Title Votary Left Hand with Pyxis
Excavation Unit 18
Stratigraphic Unit 1806
Context Found in a disturbed context, within a modern looter’s pit (EU 18/SU 1806).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 17.95
Width (cm) 11.4
Date 480 – 30 BCE
Thickness (cm) 10.55
Weight (kg) 1.33
Description Over- life-size left hand broken at the wrist. Deep grooves and robust modeling delineate each finger; likewise, each fingernail, as well as the proximal nail folds and skin, are well- defined. The hand clenches a cylindrical object that rests tightly between the thumb and the index finger. The object has a flat, round upper surface with a cylindrical body that tapers slightly towards the bottom. A thin relief band formed by two parallel horizontal grooves encircles the object at its midpoint. There is no evidence of pigment, but there is some natural discoloration, primarily between the fingers and on top of the hand.
Commentary The pyxis, alternatively identified as an incense box (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 221), represents a hand-held offering common to male votive statues as early as the sixth century BCE and well into the Hellenistic period. Because of this wide chronological span, it is difficult to arrive at a precise date for AAP-AM-1072. The scale and overall quality of carving, especially the care given to articulate the fingernails and other details of the fingers, suggests that this piece once belonged to an impressive draped statue, perhaps of the Classical or Hellenistic period. In fact, AAP-AM-1072 was likely sculpted in the same workshop that produced a hand holding a pyxis in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 223, cat. no. 294); the decoration of the pyxis, as well as the articulation of the features of the hand are strikingly similar. A fully preserved statuette of a boy from Golgoi-Ayios Photios, also in the MetMA and dated by Antoine Hermary to the lLate Hellenistic or Roman period (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 146, cat. no. 166), is depicted in the act of opening a box of the same type. Based on this comparison, the high relief line present on the Malloura pyxis (as well as other similar pyxides, e.g., Cesnola 1885: XXVIII, 146–50; Hermary and Mertens 2015: 221, cat. nos. 290, 294; Cesnola 1885: XXVIII, 146-150) surely indicates the lid of the container. In general, the presentation of boxes containing incense is unsurprising considering the plethora of incense burners (thymiateria) that have been recovered from sanctuaries, including Athienou-Malloura (AAP-AM-184;, AAP-AM-632; see also Counts 2009), and, more generally, the role of altars and fire in Cypriot rituals.
Bibliography Counts 1998, 166, cat. no. 27
Sketchfab Media URL
Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-1072 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):

Copyright License

To the extent to which copyright applies, this content carries the above license. Follow the link to understand specific permissions and requirements.

Required Attribution: Citation and reference of URIs (hyperlinks)