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Torso of a statue of a nude kouros (youth)

 

Height: 72.000 cm

Excavated by Max Ohnefalsch-Richter and Charles Christian

GR 1887.8-1.1 (Sculpture B 325)

Room 72: Ancient Cyprus

    Torso of a statue of a nude kouros (youth)

    From a tomb at ancient Marion, Cyprus
    Made on the island of Paros about 520-510 BC

    One of the few marble statues imported into Cyprus at this time

    This marble torso was found in the dromos (entrance passage) of a tomb at ancient Marion, Cyprus. The stone is not found on Cyprus, so all marble had to be imported; this statue arrived ready-made from the island of Paros in the Cyclades. It was one of very few marble statues imported into Cyprus at this time.

    The city of Marion (modern Polis) is situated a few miles from the sea in the bay of Khrysokou in the far north-west of the island, and was well placed to receive this gift from the Cyclades. In the Iron Age the island was organized into city kingdoms. Seven, and later ten, are mentioned in Assyrian documents dating from about 707 BC and 663-662 BC. The later document provides names of the kings (seven out of the ten are Greek) and their cities, but Marion is not among them. Nonetheless, like the other Cypriot kingdoms, Marion struck its own coinage, at least in the fifth century, when it appears a Phoenician king ruled from about 470-450 BC.

    This statue lacks a head and arms, and is missing below the knees. Being Greek, it is nude, while Cypriot statues of the time were, almost without exception, clothed. The contents of the tomb included other items of Greek origin, Phoenician items (most probably made by local Phoenician residents), an Egyptian alabaster alabastron, and Cypriot products, comparable with other tomb contents of the time.

    A. Hermary, 'Deux têtes en marbre trouvés à Amathonte', Bulletin de Correspondance Hel, 107 (1983), pp. 289-99

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

    K. Sheedy, 'The Idalion stater found in a tomb at Marion in 1886' in Kouros in proceedings of confe (, forthcoming)

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    On display: Room 72: Ancient Cyprus

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