Introduction to Athens, £8.99
Height: 6.000 cm
Excavated for the British Museum by Auguste Salzmann and Sir Alfred Biliotti
Room 13: Greece 1050-520 BC
Bone figurine of two female figures
Greek, about 700-650 BC
From Kamiros, Rhodes
A double figurine, probably of a goddess
Two identical naked female figures hold their arms by their sides and each wears a polos or headdress, probably indicating that they are goddesses. Although the inspiration for figures like this certainly came from the east, it is not clear who the two females represent.
The figurine was found in a well in the precinct of the Temple of Athena at Kamiros in Rhodes. It seems to have been part of a group of votive objects cleared from the site, perhaps after a phase of demolition, as other objects in the group show signs of burning. The figurine was probably carved locally, perhaps specifically for dedication at the sanctuary.
L. Schofield, 'The influence of Eastern religions on the iconography of ivory and bone objects in the Kameiros well' in Ivory in Greece and the East-2, British Museum Occasional Paper 85 (, 1992)