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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Male Votaries with Vegetal Wreaths and Fillets and Sculpted Votive Offerings
Title Votary Right Hand with Bird
Excavation Unit 28
Stratigraphic Unit 2850
Context Found in the construction fill of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary (EU 28/SU 2850).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 11.9
Width (cm) 7.7
Date 480 – 310 BCE
Thickness (cm) 4.0
Weight (kg) 0.266
Description Under- life-size limestone right arm, broken at the middle of the forearm, holding a bird by the wings; the bird is broken just below the feet and tail. There are several modern nicks on the top of the hand and wrist area. The hand is fully preserved; all five fingers are clearly differentiated by grooves. The tips of the bird’s wings emerge from the thumb and index finger, which are pressed together in order to grip the wings. The bird’'s left wing follows the direction of the underside of the forearm; the wing is rendered as an elongated triangle with a series of twelve rounded feathers delineated by shallow incisions. The right wing is partially obscured by the hand, but is rendered similarly. The bird’'s head is turned to the left (almost all the way around) and upwards, as if in the direction of the figure holding it. The head is carved in high relief, with only the right eye and right side of the beak represented. The body is somewhat pear-shaped, with two legs curled up in an S-pattern tucked underneath. Mild weathering evidenced by dark beige calcareous encrustations and very light porosity throughout. Evidence for of added red pigment on the bird’'s left leg.
Commentary Of the many handheld attributes held by votary statues (e.g., phialae, fruits, pyxides, etc.), including several examples in this catalogue, by far the most common is the bird, especially from the late Archaic through Hellenistic periods. Birds are commonly represented in a wide variety of media on Cyprus and prevalent in art associated with religion, especially sculpted votaries that carry birds as offerings. A relief from Sparta offers a nice parallel for the act of offering birds; it depicts two worshippers in diminutive scale offering gifts of a bird and flower, respectively, to a seated hero (Boardman 2007: fig. 253). Normally, the wings of the bird are pinched together between the thumb and index finger of the hand, and the bird’s body is rendered frontally, hanging from the hand (e.g., Hermary and Mertens 2015: 110-–11 [cat. no. 109], 112 [cat. no. 111], 135 [cat. no. 149]; Senff 1993: 34-–36, pls. 12d-–f, 12g–j, 14a-–d, 14e-–g, 12g-j [BM C112, C136, C114, C131, C136]). Thus, the position of the bird here is both unexpected and rare. While the wings are held in the expected position, the dramatic turn of the bird’s head back in the direction of the votary is extraordinary, adding a rather intimate connection to an otherwise static scene. Melitta Brönner (2001: 167, cat. no. 179) publisheds a fragment from a statue from the excavations of Max Ohnefalsch-Richter at Idalion at the so-called “Temenos of Aphrodite” that may represent a parallel; the bird’s head turns sharply back to its proper right. She suggests that it was held in the hand of a female votary and notes the significance of the birds to Aphrodite. In the case of AAP-AM-2800, the particular species of the bird in question is unclear.
Bibliography Unpublished
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-2800 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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