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Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Warriors, Horses, and Chariots
Title Horse-and-Rider Figurine
Excavation Unit 18
Stratigraphic Unit 1825
Context Found on the surface of the hard-packed floor layer associated with the Hellenistic-Roman phase of the sanctuary (EU 18/SU 1825).
Current Location Kallinikeio Municipal Museum of Athienou, Cyprus
Material Terracotta
Height (cm) 11.98
Width (cm) 14.62
Date 600 – 500 BCE
Thickness (cm) 5.45
Weight (kg) 0.289
Description Handmade horse-and-rider figurine, broken at the proper right front and rear legs. The horse has a narrow muzzle, bulging eyes, and triangular ears of added clay. A pronounced forelock of added clay extends from the top of the head to the mane. An added roll of clay forms the tail, which projects up and over to hang down the proper right rear leg. The preserved proper left legs are elongated triangles in shape and taper to a point with no knee, fetlock, or hoof modeled. The rider’s schematic body is pressed directly and smoothed onto the horse’s back and neck, with short legs summarily rendered straddling the horse’s body. The rider’s torso is simple; attached, curved arms extend forward and the undifferentiated hands (no individual fingers are delineated) attach to the horse’s neck. The rider’s face is long and broad, with a large, applied nose and applied, circular ears. Long hair is rendered with two pieces of added clay, attached beneath the ears, that flare out to terminate at the shoulders. Dark, fungal discoloration visible on proper left of the horse’s head; small patches of calcium deposits visible on the back of the rider. No evidence of added pigmentation. Exterior varies from light beige (10YR 8/2) to light red (5YR 7/4) with gray (5YR 6/1) on the rider’s right lock; interior fabric is light red (5YR 7/4) to orange (5YR 6/6) with a light gray core (10YR 6/2), with numerous small pebble inclusions.
Commentary Figurines of this type (both nude and clothed) are traditionally termed “Astarte” figures and are most frequently found in goddess sanctuaries on Cyprus. Recent scholarship, however, has noted the lack of evidence for interpreting these figurines as divine depictions and instead emphasizes the intentionally ambiguous iconography that could represent a divinity, priestess, worshipper, or even an ideal (Papasavvas 2016: 290–94; Ulbrich 2016: 289–91; for the history of this term, see Darby 2014: 35–36). CA–CC female figurines of this type were especially abundant as dedications at sanctuaries in the eastern part of the island and in the Mesaoria, although some examples were placed in tombs and isolated examples appear elsewhere on the island (J. Karageorghis 1999: Type I, 1–67, pls. 1–18; Ulbrich 2008: 70–77, pls. 11–12, 2016: 291–93). Moldmade figurines wearing pleated garments with pointed headdresses and veils, holding offerings or holding hands beneath the breasts, seem to have been produced at workshops around Amathous, Kition, and Achna, although Jacqueline Karageorghis notes the difficulty in assigning an exact place of production (J. Karageorghis 1999: 67, 189). This figurine is significant at Malloura because it is one of only a few female figurines found to date in a votive assemblage that is heavily dominated by male iconography. Most other female terracotta figurines found at the sanctuary date later, with the exception of another moldmade female torso fragment. It is possible, given the unique iconography for Malloura at this time and the manufacturing technique only attested in one other contemporary figurine, that this dedication was not locally produced.
Bibliography Averett 2011: 140, fig. 10.12
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Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-1530 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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