- Museum number
Terracotta figurine of what appear to be three helmetted warriors with joined bodies, originally holding three spears (now missing) and three shields (only one of which survives); hollow mould-made heads (with hand modelled details) with hollow hand-modelled bodies.
- Production date
- 650 BC-600 BC
Height: 24 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The three-bodied warrier suggests a connection with Geryon, the moster killed by Herakles (q.v.) as one of his Twelve Labours (see Tatton-Brown 1978). It is however possible that this object represents a Cypriot supernatural being whose imagery was influenced by the iconography or myths of the Greek monster. For a recent discussion of the iconography of 'Geryon' on Cyprus and common practice of borrowing imagery from outside the island to represent local gods and mythical beings, see Counts 2015 esp. 288 and fig. 16.3. More cautiously still, this is simply a group of warriors that have been represented in close formation, in a manner similar to the way in which multple individuals occupying the same chariot are sometimes shown (though these tend to be smaller-scale models).
Stylistically, the heads belong to what was termed the Neo-Cypriot sculptural style of Cypro-Archaic sculpture by Gjerstad. This term is now held to encompass a series of regional styles, in this case a typical product of one or more workshops centred on the city-kindom of Idalion operating in the 7th and/or 6th centuries BC.
The provenance of the item is not clearly stated in the original correspondence relating to the acquisition which simply says it was found at Pyrga (See GR Original Letters 1861-68, A-K, letter of 17 Dec. from Dominic Colnaghi to Charles Newton). It may however have come from a shrine known though groups of material from the localities Livadhia or Mersineri (Kondomersina) to the south-east of the village found in the 1960s and which Fourrier has interpreted as belonging to to a frontier sanctuary belonging to the kingdom of Idalion (see Fourrier 2000, with further references; also 2007, 48-9).
Counts D. 2015, 'Myth into art: Foreign impulses and local responses in Archaic Cypriot sanctuaries', in A.B. Knapp and P. van Dommelen (eds), The Cambridge Prehistory of the Bronze and Iron Age Mediterranean (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 285-98.
Fourrier S. 2000, 'Un sanctuaire de frontière à Pyrga', CCEC 30, 45-66.
Fourrier, S. 2007, La coroplastie chypriote archaïque. Identités culturelles et politiques à l'époque des royaumes. Travaux de la Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée 46 (Lyon: Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée)
Gjerstad, E. 1948, The Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Volume IV/2. The Cypro-Geometric, Cypro-Archaic and Cypro-Classical periods (Stockholm: The Swedish Cyprus Expedition).
- On display (G72/dc5)
- Acquisition date
- 1866 (See GR Original Letters 1861-68, A-K, letter of 17 Dec. from Colnaghi to Charles Newton)
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 1917,0701.13 (registered in error as)