Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt

Alexandra Villing, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, Alan Johnston, François Leclère, Aurélia Masson and Ross Thomas

With Daniel von Recklinghausen, Jeffrey Spencer, Valerie Smallwood, Virginia Webb and Susan Woodford

Search this Catalogue

Advanced search  

See all objects in this catalogue 

Supported by

The Leverhulme Trust
  • The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
  • Christian Levett and the Mougins Museum of Classical Art
  • Share this catalogue

Cypriot figures in terracotta and limestone


Ross Iain Thomas

The role of Naukratis as a significant eastern Mediterranean trade hub is confirmed by the numerous – over 250 – Cypriot alabaster, limestone and terracotta figures found in the site’s Greek sanctuaries. Indeed, it was the discovery of a Cypriot alabaster figure that led Flinders Petrie to Naukratis in the first place. The quantity of Cypriot figures found within the earliest layers of the Greek sanctuaries of Aphrodite, Apollo and to a lesser degree the sanctuary of Hera and the Hellenion is an indicator of the strength of trade relations between Egypt and Cyprus during the Late Period, particularly during the Saite period. This chapter introduces the range of Cypriot figures found as votive offerings within the Greek sanctuaries of Naukratis. Their production, use and deposition is discussed, highlighting their prominent role as dedications of visitors to Naukratis during the period when the settlement had a unique role as Egypt’s hub of Mediterranean trade.

Gypsum alabaster (calcium sulphate) figure of a youth wearing Cypriot cap and leopard skin. British Museum, 1886,0401.1382