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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Divine Images: Cypriot Herakles
Title Over Life-Size Calf of Cypriot-Herakles
Excavation Unit 10 & 92
Stratigraphic Unit 1038 & 9200
Context AAP-AM-120 was found in a deposit defined as ancient tumble from the southern and eastern sections of the peribolos of the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary, perhaps originally built into the wall in that area (EU 10/SU 1038). AAP-AM-775 was found in a disturbed context, a mixed deposit consisting of alluvial layers and modern looter pits (EU 92/SU 9200).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 32.7
Width (cm) 15.8
Date 500 – 450 BCE
Thickness (cm) 17.0
Weight (kg) 2.0
Description Over-life-size calf of a Cypriot Herakles type statue, broken at mid-knee below the kneecap and directly above the heel. Originally two pieces, now joined. The calf is sculpted in the round with exaggerated rendering of the gastrocnemius. A pronounced ridge widens near the top of the calf designating the shinbone and lower knee directly below the cap. A lion paw, sculpted in relief, is attached to the right side of the upper calf; the paw is rendered with deep vertical grooves, which produce tall, slender toes in high relief and taper near the ends into claws. There is no evidence of paint; dark splotches of natural discoloration concentrated on the left side and the paw with some discoloration on the right side. Porous holes passim.
Commentary Based on comparisons to other, better-preserved examples, this leg clearly belongs to an over-life-size statue of Cypriot Herakles (Counts 2008; Hermary and Mertens 2015: 226). The preserved paw represents the lionskin, originally draped over the head and shoulders with the front paws tied at the chest; the lion’s hind legs extend down the back/side of the figure to the calf, as seen on well-preserved examples from Kition-Bamboula (Gjerstad 1937: pl. xvi, 3) now in the Cyprus Museum and from Idalion (Hermary 1989a: 301, cat. no. 600) now in the Musée du Louvre. More importantly, with a maximum diameter of almost 17 cm, AAP-AM-120 is comparable in size to a colossal example from Golgoi-Ayios Photios now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 228–30, cat. no. 302); the original likely exceeded 2 m in height. Such a large scale is consistent with the discovery of a large torso of the Cypriot Herakles type from Malloura that probably belongs to the same piece. If so, the original statue corresponds to a type common in the later sixth and fifth centuries BCE that features the god wearing the lionskin, raising a club over the head (where it is attached at the back), and mastering a miniature lion at his side (as seen in examples cited above; see also AAP-AM-3350). It is difficult to date precisely such a fragmentary piece. However, the robust modeling of the calf muscle (gastrocnemius) mirrors the exaggerated musculature seen on a Cypriot Herakles from Idalion, referenced above, dated to circa 480–470 BCE by Antoine Hermary; therefore a date in the first half of the fifth century BCE for the Malloura example seems appropriate. The enormous size of the original statue suggests that it held a special place among the offerings in the sanctuary.
Bibliography Counts 1998: 174, cat. no. 34; 2004: 181
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-120+775 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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