Open Context

Descriptive Variable Value(s)
Type Male Votaries with Diadems and Cypriot Shorts
Title Male Votary Head with Rosette Diadem
Excavation Unit 10
Stratigraphic Unit 1099.149
Context Found on the surface of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary (EU 10/SU 1099.149).
Current Location Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 24.2
Date 600 BCE
Width (cm) 19.2
Thickness (cm) 22.2
Weight (kg) 7.5
Description Life-size head of a male votary wearing a diadem, broken at the neck; a significant crack is visible extending in a U -shape from the right to left sides and across the chin. The crack is the result of the natural weakening of the limestone due to sculpting. The head is somewhat elongated and oval. Although severely worn, the large, almond-shaped eyes, with sculpted lids, are set horizontally on the face. The low-arching brow extends down the bridge of the nose. The nose is badly preserved, but was large and prominent. The lips are pursed and prominent, preserving a faint smile. The chin is small and rounded. The sides of the face are rounded with a smooth transition to the cheeks. The better-preserved proper right ear is rendered with a wide, flat, helix and shallow, ill-defined interior; a “double-lobe” indicates earrings. The head is wrapped in a tight, plain headcloth rendered by a shallow ridge low across the forehead that extends back and beneath the fully exposed ears, ending in a compact mass at the base of the neck. An ornamental diadem secures the wig in place and is itself tied with two parallel strings which converge from either side of the head before meeting at the back of the head. Rosettes in relief, each with 10 ten radiating leaves and a central bud, decorate the front and both sides of the diadem; the left rosette is poorly preserved due to weathering on that side. The neck is full and thick. The back of the head is left flat and smooth, except for the thick band used to fasten the diadem. There is no evidence of pigment and black splotches of natural discoloration appear passim.
Commentary This large, impressive head with a rosette diadem is among the earliest heads discovered at Athienou-Malloura to date (see also AAP-AM-329; and AAP-AM-851). Heads of a style and type comparable to AAP-AM-1108 are common from both Golgoi-Ayios Photios (e.g., Hermary and Mertens 2015: cat. nos. 26, 36) and Idalion (e.g., Senff 1993: 46–-47, pls. 31a–-c and 32a–-c [BM C1and C3]). In particular, the Malloura head is closely linked to a head from nearby Idalion (C3), which is dated by Reinhard Senff to the end of the seventh century or beginning of the sixth century BCE (1993: 46–-47, pl. 31, a–-c). The structure of the head and headgear, as well as the modeling of the face, are similar. Moreover, the pieces employ an identical solution to the problem of rendering (in stone) the ties that fasten the diadem in place. Another head from the French excavations at Malloura and now in the Musée du Louvre (Hermary 1989a: 47, cat. no. 58) is also comparable, especially in the rendering of the facial transitions and pursed lips; however, the Louvre example certainly exhibits a more emphatic countenance with its bowed, smiling lips. There has been much discussion regarding the meaning of the diadem (Hurschmann 2003). An example of the same type of diadem—, in gold, embossed with rosettes—, was discovered in a tomb in the Limassol district (Karageorghis 1980: 771, fig. 30). Still, the combination of the large scale and the diadem with its rosette iconography, as well as the earrings, suggests an association with an important (royal?), or otherwise wealthy, patron of high status (cf., Sørensen 1994: 82; see also Sørensen 2017). AAP-AM-1108The head was found lying on the surface of the hard-packed layer, which is associated with the Hellenistic–-Roman phase of the sanctuary (Toumazou and Counts 2011 : 76–-77; Toumazou et al. 2015: 206–-13). It is among several sculptural fragments that escaped appropriation for the construction of the floor and associated peribolos during the sanctuary’s reorganization in the late fourth century BCE (see also, e.g., AAP-AM-96).
Bibliography Counts 1998: 136-37, cat. no. 1.
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Kevin Garstki, Erin Averett. "AAP-AM-1108 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. <>

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