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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Warriors, Horses, and Chariots
Title Quadriga Chariot Group
Excavation Unit 52
Stratigraphic Unit 5206
Context Found in a disturbed context, within a modern looter’s pit (EU 52/SU 5206).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 31.9
Width (cm) 13.7
Date 480 – 310 BCE
Thickness (cm) 26.3
Weight (kg) 8.125
Description Limestone quadriga with two charioteers (missing heads) and four horses (missing most of the front legs). The front guard is curved with a partially enclosed back guard; traces of red pigment are visible on the floor. The chariot wheels are indicated in relief against the chariot box as flat, undecorated disks. The interior of the box is a solid mass; the charioteer torsos emerge from the stone with forearms resting on the high dashboard. The proper right charioteer is taller and appears to be the driver; his left hand is slightly clenched and the right thumb is extended to hold the reins (perhaps originally painted). The left charioteer extends the index finger of his right hand, while the left hand is less well-preserved. Both figures wear a chiton and himation (red pigment well-preserved along folds of each). The left charioteer is only preserved to mid-torso, but the more complete right charioteer’s garment crosses the top of the right shoulder and falls down the front and back in diagonal folds. The horses are rendered side by side; their hindquarters abut the front guard. The straight tails of the pole horses appear in relief against the outer guard; small, wavy incisions delineate locks of hair. The hind legs spring directly from the base, with only the pole horses’ outer legs and hooves delineated as relief against the chariot wheel. The thigh, calf, fetlock joint, and hoof are carved naturalistically, and the legs are extended to suggest a canter gait. The curved underside of the horses is rendered as a smooth arc, with no anatomical detailing. The upper part of the front legs of three horses is indicated in relief, while the legs of the fourth horse are not preserved. A simple yoke, with slight traces of red pigment visible, is rendered as a thick band resting across the base of the horses’ necks. Chisel marks are visible on the underside of the horses and between the wheels at the back; drill punches are visible over most of the worked surfaces. Shallow incisions radiating around the rim of the left wheel may indicate spokes. Modern chips, gauges, and scratches (possibly from looters’ tools) are apparent primarily on the left side of the group. Small dark splotches discolor the worked surfaces.
Commentary AAP-AM-4360 is one of at least three limestone chariot groups from Malloura. While terracotta chariot groups are abundant in Iron Age Cyprus (see Karageorghis 1995: 100–20), limestone examples are much more limited. Provenanced examples of limestone chariots come from two contexts: sanctuaries of male divinities (Golgoi-Ayios Photios [Hermary and Mertens 2015: 188–92, cat. nos. 235, 241], Idalion [Senff 1993: 61, pl. 45a–d (BM C84)], and Apollo Hylates at Kourion [Buitron-Oliver 1983: 230; Crouwel 1987: 107, pl. XXXVI. 1–2; Hermary 1996a: 147, pl. 44. 1; Hermary and Mertens 2015: 191, cat. no. 239; Young and Young 1955: 175]) and the palace of Amathous (Brehme et al. 2001: 166–67, cat. no. 178; Hermary 1981: cat. nos. 45–47, 2000: 129, cat. no. 850). There are also unprovenanced examples in the MMA (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 192, cat. no. 240) and the Musée du Louvre (Hermary 1989a: 288, cat. nos. 582–83). Limestone chariots are generally dated to the sixth through fourth centuries BCE. The Malloura example is most similar to a chariot model of unknown provenance now in the MMA, dated to the second half of the fifth century or fourth century BCE (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 192, cat. no. 240); in particular, the four horses abutting the chariot, the lack of definition of individual horses, and the simplified chariot representation are common features. The Malloura and MMA examples are similar enough to suggest a common workshop, although the carving of the Malloura example is superior. Unlike CA terracotta chariot groups, which often depict military chariots carrying warriors (for an exception, see the CA II–CC I terracotta chariot model with Athena from Mersinaki: Karageorghis 2003: 221, cat. no. 257), the lack of martial attributes—like other limestone examples—suggests that AAP-AM-4360 does not depict a military vehicle. Here, the chariot denotes rank and status (Crouwel 1987: 113) and represents a ceremonial vehicle carrying unarmed figures, most likely dignitaries or high-status individuals in processions (although attendant military associations might be implied). The use of chariots in processions—and associated with elite status—is most explicitly seen on two sarcophagi in the MMA from Amathous and Golgoi (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 353–70, cat. nos. 490, 491).
Bibliography Toumazou et al. 2015: 214, fig. 9
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-4360 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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