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Limestone statue of a bearded worshipper

 

Height: 1.450 m

GR 1910.6-20.7 (Sculpture C 68)

Room 72: Ancient Cyprus

    Limestone statue of a bearded worshipper

    From the Sanctuary of Apollo at Phrangissa, Tamassos, Cyprus
    About 600-580 BC

    A typically Cypriot statue of locally available stone

    Cypriot sculptors in the Iron Age worked either in terracotta or locally available stone of different varieties, all commonly called 'limestone'. The local stone was soft and suitable for engraved and painted decoration rather than sharply carved detail. The backs of statues were generally ignored, often left completely or virtually flat with no attempt to show details of the anatomy. These are the characteristics of this early stone example.

    This statue of a worshipper wears a bonnet or helmet with upturned cheek-pieces of eastern origin. His long robe is familiar from Assyrian reliefs. The figure's stance, with his right arm tucked in a fold of his mantle and his left by his side, is very common in Cyprus. Most of the earlier Cypriot statues sport beards and these remained popular for a long time.

    The Cypriots dedicated numerous figures in their sanctuaries. They believed that votive statues would serve as continuous worshippers on the dedicators' behalf. At Tamassos a male god was worshipped in the sanctuary at Phrangissa, but he was not identified with Apollo until the fourth century BC.

    V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

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    On display: Room 72: Ancient Cyprus