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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Female and Other Types
Title Female Votary Head with Veil
Excavation Unit 88
Stratigraphic Unit 8827
Context Found in a disturbed context, within a modern looter’s pit (EU 88/SU 8827).
Current Location Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 10.72
Width (cm) 9.85
Date 450 BCE
Thickness (cm) 7.99
Weight (kg) 0.579
Description Under- life-size head of a female votary wearing a veil, broken directly below the chin. The overall shape of the face is rounded. The forehead slants sharply to the arched brows forming the bridge of the nose, which appears foreshortened and flat in comparison to the rest of the face. A small indentation between the upper lip and nostrils (philtrum) accentuates the mouth. The heavy, high- relief eyelids are almond-shaped and positioned horizontally on the face with prominent, spherical eyeballs. The cheeks and well-modeled chin are smooth; the lips form a slight upward curve revealing a faint smile. The face possesses smooth transitions from the sides to the front, yet is asymmetrical in frontal view, with the left side slanting slightly downwards. The figure wears a conical-shaped veil, which contours the shape of the head and is rendered with a series of ridges that spiral towards the back; a row of curls is visible peering out of the veil. Rendered as carved notches, the curls frame the face, arching across the forehead and down either side. There are minute porous holes and some shallow pitting across the surface, but no evidence of pigment or any visible natural discoloration.
Commentary AAP-AM-850 is a well-executed female head draped in a veil. Given the overwhelming majority of male votaries from Athienou-Malloura, a female votary is notable, although not unexpected since male and female statues appear side -by -side in most Cypriot sanctuaries, regardless of cult. The modeling of AAP-AM-850, especially the prominent spherical eyeballs, suggests a date around the middle of the fifth century BCE. However, as seen in other Cypriot statuary (e.g., AAP-AM-96), there is a tendency to mix earlier styles, resulting in “aArchaizing” and/or “sSeverizing” quotations (Ridgway 1993: 445-–73; see also the comments in Hermary and Mertens 2015: 92, cat. no. 85). For example, the slight smile and almond-shaped eyes look back to the Archaic period, while the heavy, sculpted lids and chin and thick curls across the forehead evoke Severe or early cClassical styles. AAP-AM-850 is especially close to an example dated to the middle of the fifth century BCE from the French excavations at Malloura (Hermary 1989a: 303, cat. no. 605); given that both are from Malloura, it is likely that they share a common place of production in the region (perhaps even the same workshop). Both heads exhibit similar aArchaizing features despite their cClassical date. Each head mimics typically -Archaic features such as the smile, almond-shaped eyes, and sharp facial transitions, but also possesses spherical eyeballs, an oval faces, an accentuated philtrum, and full lips that are characteristic of the middle of the fifth century BCE. Significantly, both faces have slightly askew lips with the proper right side slightly higher than the left. This connection between the heads can be taken one step further if one considers the possibility of facial templates in sculptural workshops. The faces of Cypriot statues are rarely gender-specific; when only the face is preserved, it is often difficult to distinguish between male and female statues without visible attributes. The sheer numbers of votive sculptures, as well as the limited types found among them, suggest that sculptors worked with basic templates of facial and body types that could be manipulated and individualized by the addition of accessories (see the comments in Markoe 1987: 125, who posits such a scenario for two heads with similar style but different dress and hair). In this case, the two heads were sculpted in the same style and with similar facial types and then adapted to suit the needs of a particular patron. For AAP-AM-850 a veil was added to create a female votary typical of fifth-century BCE dedications; for the Musée du Louvre head, a lion-skin headdress transforms the figure into a Cypriot -Herakles type.
Bibliography Counts 1998: 169, cat. no. 31
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-850 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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