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Ram-horned gods dedicated in Cypriot sanctuaries are now commonly referred to as “Zeus-Ammon” in recognition of the type’s influence from the cult of Zeus-Ammon at Cyrene—a city with ties to King Evelthon of Salamis in the second and third quarters of the sixth century BCE. Earlier studies referred to the god as “Baal-Hammon” based on perceived connections to Phoenicia. Regardless, neither name appears in the Cypriot epigraphic record and the iconography is best understood as yet another local, Cypriot translation of an image for a local god. Zeus-Ammon is most often represented as an enthroned, bearded figure cast either as a ram-headed deity or as a human with the horns of a ram worn as a headdress (AAP-AM-714). This iconography of the male god wearing the ram-horn headdress is also seen on thymiateria dedicated in Cypriot sanctuaries (AAP-AM-623). The ram-headed type seems to be the earliest among the figures, appearing initially in the first half of the sixth century BCE, with the more anthropomorphic type coming toward the end of the CA period. The vast majority of the small statuettes are made of limestone; however, there are terracotta examples, including a particularly impressive enthroned example from Meniko. While the iconography is common in sanctuaries in the southern and eastern Mesaoria, limestone and terracotta statuettes of Cypriot type have been found at sites in the eastern Mediterranean (e.g., Rhodes, Samos, and Amrit).

Suggested Citation

Derek B. Counts. "Divine Images: Zeus Ammon". (2020) 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 (Eds.) . Released: 2020-07-28. Open Context. <http://opencontext.org/types/1c84b2bd-5dd1-4eca-b85e-9332a9bf7c79>

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