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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Masks
Title Figure wearing bull mask and cape
Excavation Unit 10
Stratigraphic Unit 1099.14
Context Found in a disturbed context, within a modern looter’s pit (EU 10/SU 1099.14).
Current Location Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou, Cyprus
Material Terracotta
Height (cm) 10.93
Width (cm) 5.72
Date 600 – 500 BCE
Thickness (cm) 3.89
Weight (kg) 0.103
Description Handmade figurine wearing helmet-style bull mask and cape. Minor chips are visible on the ears, proper left horn, cape, and base. The body is a simple cylinder with a flaring base; no details of the dress are modeled, nor is there preserved painted decoration. Both arms are raised, bent at the elbows, to lift the front of the bull’s head mask up from the wearer’s face. The bull mask has horizontal, pointed horns; attached bovine ears beneath the horns; rounded, bulging eyes; and a projecting muzzle with an incised line for the mouth and pierced nostrils. The bull’s hide flows down from the head as an attached cape, draping the shoulders and upper arms of the wearer. The human face peers out from beneath the bull mask and cape: only the lower half of the face is visible, with a pronounced nose of added clay and a large, rounded jaw. The coroplast’s fingerprints are visible passim (barely visible on the 3D model). There is no evidence of added pigment, but some small patches of natural dark discoloration are visible. The fabric is light gray (2.5Y 7/2) to light brown (7.5YR 6/4), with a reddish (2.5YR 5/6) to light brown core (7.5YR 6/4).
Commentary This bull-masked figure is similar to other masker terracotta figurines and limestone statuettes found as dedications in sanctuaries and (less commonly) as grave goods across the island (Averett 2015: 23–27, 2018; Hermary 1979; Karageorghis 1971). Terracotta masked figurines, such as AAP-AM-1170, are handmade and date to the CA period, most from the sixth century BCE. The gender of this example, like most other masker figurines, is not emphasized. AAP-AM-1170 has a unique pose, which depicts the masker putting on or taking off a helmet-style bull mask with flowing cape and the face peeking out from beneath. Other maskers tug at the mask costume at the neck (e.g., Amathous limestone statuette, see Hermary 2000: 133, cat. no. 877, pl. 71; Petit 2002: 295, fig. 11) or adjust the helmet mask after it has been put over the head (e.g., figurines from Amathous tombs, see Karageorghis 1987: 3, cat. nos. 5–6, pl. 2; Tytgat 1989: 129–30; figurines dedicated at Kourion, see Young and Young 1955: 40–41, cat. nos. 814, 825–29, 834–39, 45, cat. nos. 949–51, pl. 11; figurines dedicated at Ayia Irini, see Gjerstad 1948: 697, 789, cat. no. 809, pl. 233.8; Sjöqvist 1932: 344–47, fig. 11). In other examples, the figure is represented with both arms outstretched, with the mask already firmly on the head (e.g., from Ayia Irini, see Karageorghis 1971: 265, fig. 2). The only other published representation of a masker peeking out from beneath a bull mask is a head from a life-size limestone statue from Golgoi-Ayios Photios dated to circa 530–520 BCE (Caubet et al. 1992: 140–41, cat. no. 167; Hermary 1989a: 291). The style of AAP-AM-1170, as well as the type, dates this to the sixth century BCE. There is only one other masker figure from the Malloura sanctuary: a less well-preserved torso that appears to represent a human with the head of a ram.
Bibliography Averett 2011: 141, fig. 10.14; 2015: 14, fig. 10; 2018: 309, no. 24, fig. 6
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-1170 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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