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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Warriors, Horses, and Chariots
Title Fragmentary Arm Cradling a Sword
Excavation Unit 10
Stratigraphic Unit 1047
Context Excavated from a disturbed level (EU 10/SU 1047), which included robbed out sections of the southeast corner of Hellenistic-Roman temenos; possibly built into wall.
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 24.0
Width (cm) 17.0
Date 750 – 480 BCE
Thickness (cm) 15.0
Weight (kg) 2.0
Description Life-size left forearm broken at the elbow and knuckles; the object held in the hand is broken along the same lines at its top and bottom. The fingers are missing, but the thumb is clearly delineated. Cradled in the hand and forearm is the hilt of a large sword. The grip is decorated with four horizontal flutes (ca. 7 mm wide). The pommel is demarcated by a series of scallop-shaped edges, which follow its contour. The massive, oversize sword guard is bell-shaped, widening toward the break (where it would have met the figure’s torso); a single, deep incision dissects the otherwise flat surface. There is no evidence of pigment.
Commentary AAP-AM-254 recalls two other fragments of the same type from Golgoi-Ayios Photios, now in the MMA collection (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 222–23, cat. nos. 292, 293), which were all likely produced in the same workshop in the region of Athienou (Counts 2011b: 158–59). In particular, similarities between the formal characteristics of cat. no. 292 and AAP-AM-254 are especially compelling and leave little doubt that they were produced by the same sculptor; as such, this comparison provides the strongest evidence of an “Athienou School” of sculptors in this region. The fragmentary nature of the Malloura example and the lack of clear stratigraphic evidence make a precise date difficult. Antoine Hermary dates cat. no. 292 to the Hellenistic or Roman period, although it is not clear upon what evidence or consideration he arrives at this date; he is uncertain of a date for cat. no. 293. Based on the carving, martial iconography, and comparisons to similar examples in terracotta, an earlier (Archaic?) date seems more likely. The identification of the handheld attribute as a sword is based on comparisons with a fully preserved terracotta warrior figure from Ayia Irini (Karageorghis 1993: 17, cat. no. 34, pl. 9), where only the pommel and grip are visible extending from the torso (in a mode similar to our example), and another fragment of a terracotta sword with the same pommel type—but of unknown provenience—now in the Cyprus Museum (Karageorghis 1993: 91, fig. 66). AAP-AM-254 and its companions from Golgoi represent an extremely rare type of armed warrior within the expansive corpus of Archaic–Roman limestone statues known from the island. Hermary and Joan Mertens (2015: 68–69, cat. no. 54) published an example from Golgoi wearing an Egyptianizing kilt and holding a sheathed sword; another draped male figure in the MMA from the first half of the fifth century BCE (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 112–13, cat. no. 112) is depicted with a small dagger and aryballos, but should probably be associated with some ritual action rather than interpreted as a warrior figure (see Hermary and Mertens 2015: 154–57, cat. nos. 178, 179, 182 for other variations).
Bibliography Counts 1998: 168, cat. no. 30; 2011: 158-159, fig. 11.11a-b
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-254 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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