project banner image
Descriptive Attribute Value(s)
Type Divine Images: Zeus Ammon
Title “Zeus-Ammon” Thymiaterion Fragment
Excavation Unit 10
Stratigraphic Unit 1099.061
Context Found in a disturbed context, within a modern looter’s pit (EU 10/SU 1099.061).
Current Location Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, Cyprus
Material Limestone
Height (cm) 9.0
Width (cm) 9.0
Date 525 – 500 BCE
Thickness (cm) 2.5
Weight (kg) 0.12
Description Fragment from a thymiaterion, with representations of Zeus-Ammon and a ram in relief. It is broken at the bottom, lower left side, and at the place of attachment to the burner dish. The composition consists of a standing ram facing left, surmounted by a frontal protome of Zeus-Ammon. Despite wear of the surface, the ram horns of the figure’s headdress are clearly discernible; the details of the face are obscured by weathering, apart from its oval shape and rather prominent chin and cheeks. The wall of the incense burner’s dish is visible to the left and right of the head. The head of the ram protrudes to the right from the flat surface of the relief and is rendered in the round. The back is unworked and flat. Dark red pigment concentrated in the area below the protome and to the right; slight traces of red pigment also visible around the horns of the ram and the face of the protome.
Commentary Thymiateria such as AAP-AM-623, which includes an anthropomorphic Zeus-Ammon protome positioned above a standing ram, are found in numerous sanctuaries in the Mesaoria and are commonly dated to the late sixth or early fifth centuries BCE (Buchholz 1991: 119-–24; Counts 2004: 178-–81,; 2009; for a related type featuringes a sphinx, see Karageorghis 1988). A fragmentary example said to be from Golgoi-Ayios Photios, now in the Cyprus Museum (Karageorghis 1988: pl. 31, 1-–2), was surely produced in the same workshop as the Malloura example given the significant parallels in type, style, and scale (Counts 2009: 109), suggesting a production center around modern Athienou. Two other thymiateria from Lefkoniko should also be tentatively assigned to the same workshop (Myres 1941-–45: nos. 418, 421). In each, Zeus-Ammon is represented as a bearded protome with the horns of the a ram, positioned on the back of a ram in profile. Drapery extending out to the proper right of the protome indicates that the figure is reclining (rendered somewhat more successfully on another example from Tamassos, discussed in Counts 2009: 108-–09, fig. 11.6). The protome/ram group forms the front support of the incense burner dish, while the dish was supported by a post (a well-preserved example from Kition-Bamboula, without the Zeus-Ammon protome, shows how it worked [Buchholz 1991: cat. no. 64, pl. 17.4]). Other examples of the same basic type come from Karavas, Idalion, Kition, and Potamia (Buchholz 1991: 121-–25; Karageorghis 1988a: 91-–92, Type B, nos. 3-–6, 8), and an example of unknown provenience in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Hermary and Mertens 2015: 280, cat. no. 382). Despite the many thymiateria found on the island, the typology and ram-god iconography exhibited in these examples share a special relationship. While it is impossible to determine the exact location of the workshop, the consistency of type is convincing evidence for close contact between among sculptural workshops in the Mesaoria. In particular, parallels suggest communication between the sculptors of Lefkoniko and the Athienou region in the development of the god’s iconography in the beginning in of the second half of the sixth century BCE (see the comments by Glenn Markoe [1987: 124], who suggesteds a “Golgoi-Idalion” school in his discussion of a head from Lefkoniko in the Cyprus Museum from Lefkoniko). A connection with the iconography of a local god (versus. a foreign, borrowed divinity) worshipped in Cypriot sanctuaries is generally agreed upon by scholars (Hermary 1989a: 305; Counts 2008, 2009; Hermary 1989a: 305; Kleibl 2008, 2010).
Bibliography Counts 1998: 176, cat. no. 36; 2004: 181,188-89, figs. 2, 3; 2009: 108, figs. 11.10-11.12
Sketchfab Media URL
Suggested Citation

Derek Counts, Erin Averett, Kevin Garstki. (2020) "AAP-AM-623 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):

Copyright License

To the extent to which copyright applies, this content carries the above license. Follow the link to understand specific permissions and requirements.

Required Attribution: Citation and reference of URIs (hyperlinks)