Open Context

Descriptive Variable 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
Date 500 – 450 BCE
Width (cm) 15.8
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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Editorial Note

Open Context editors work with data contributors to annotate datasets to shared vocabularies, ontologies, and other standards using 'Linked Open Data' (LOD) methods.

The annotations presented above approximate some of the meaning in this contributed data record to concepts defined in shared standards. These annotations are provided to help make datasets easier to understand and use with other datasets.

Suggested Citation

Kevin Garstki, Erin Averett, Derek Counts. "AAP-AM-120+775 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. <http://opencontext.org/subjects/d26d8a2a-9e73-47b3-8812-42d7e1234b44> ARK (Archive): https://n2t.net/ark:/28722/k2rx9mk1q

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