Archäologische Staatssammlung München


Through the means of trade and of the newly developed metal-working industry, the culture of the Greek Cycladic islands experienced a heyday in the third millennium BC. The products of this culture, in particular the characteristic marble idols, are today among the most highly regarded prehistoric works of art. Fortunately, the archaeological context in which the present idol was discovered is well known. It was found together with two marble bowls, a painted jug and three copper tools in a grave on the small island of Irakleia near Naxos. The colouring of one of the perfectly worked marble bowls with red ochre, the colour of blood and thus of life, which can also be seen frequently in prehistoric graves, as well as the figure of the female idol, supposedly indicate the regeneration of life connected with cycles of vegetation and fertility. The valuable copper tools, two axe blades and a chisel made of the new material reflect the wealth and social status of the deceased and can be seen as indicating the burial of a male corpse. The marble idol with missing lower legs and feet shows a slender female body with a long conical neck and an oval head. Dainty arms frame the flat breasts at right angles. The pubic triangle is indicated by scratches, as is the spine. The dorsal line and the upper and lower neckline show remnants of red ochre colour. In the face, double rows of dots on the forehead and cheeks are preserved.


Archäologische Staatssammlung München

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