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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Masks
Title Bearded Male Mask
Excavation Unit 36
Stratigraphic Unit 3652
Context Found in the construction fill of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary (EU 36 / SU 3652).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Terracotta
Height (cm) 7.14
Width (cm) 10.12
Date 600 – 480 BCE
Thickness (cm) 8.69
Weight (kg) 0.189
Description Moldmade bearded male mask, preserved from the bottom of the cutout eyes and bridge of the nose down to the finished edges beneath the chin. The face is naturalistically modeled with rounded cheeks; large, cutout eyes; and a straight nose with a rounded tip and indented nostrils. The philtrum is demarcated under the septum. The lips are small with a faint smile. The preserved proper right ear is pierced, while the proper left ear is missing. There is another perforation behind the right ear just inside the finished edge of the mask and there was likely another perforation on the left side to attach the mask to a face or wall. A beard in relief is demarcated by a raised edge running from the bottom of the ears to just under the nose; it extends to the finished edge of the mask beneath the rounded chin. The short curls of the beard are faint, indicating that the mask was made in an older mold (one that was worn from multiple uses). Traces of black pigment on the beard are preserved. The edge of the mask is finished, rounded, and uneven. Traces of poorly preserved red pigment are visible on the left cheek. The reverse of the mask is intentionally smoothed, but uneven, and there are three diagonal slash marks from tools used to press the clay into the mold. Exterior fabric color is pink (7.5YR 7/4) to gray (7.5YR 6/1), interior is light reddish brown (5YR 6/3) with small and medium inclusions, low density. Soil accretions are visible on all surfaces.
Commentary This mask is similar to other bearded male masks dedicated at sanctuaries across the island and, occasionally, placed in tombs during the CA period. Male masks such as AAP-AM-4631 were likely used in ritual performances in rural and urban religious spaces (Averett 2015: 23–27, 2018). The shape of the face and especially the Archaic smile dates this example to the beginning of the sixth century BCE. Male masks from this period can be bearded or unbearded, but most bearded examples display long, pointed beards that extend significantly past the chin (e.g., numerous moldmade examples from Amathous, see Hermary 2000: cat. no. 506; Karageorghis 1993: 108–14). The Malloura example, however, wears a short beard with spiral curls more similar to the beards found on limestone male statues. This mask displays a particular local Malloura style not found elsewhere.
Bibliography Averett 2015: 14, fig. 9; 2018: 308, no. 10, fig. 3
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-4631 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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