Department of Antiquities

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Ancient Cyprus
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  Highlights of the Collection: Aphrodite, Female Figurines and Cyprus
  Aphrodite, Female Figurines and Cyprus: The Early and Middle Bronze Age and Plank Figurines

Head and shoulders of plank figurine (AN1953.215)In the Early Bronze Age (circa 2600BC-2000BC) the cruciform design disappears and a new larger type of figurine appears, commonly known as 'Plank Figures'. These are very stylised representations of women on flat terracotta 'planks', their features represented by gypsum filled incisions. Some of the geometric designs look like clothing and sometimes the figurines have piercings for the attachment of metal or terracotta earrings. They all appear to wear a multi-layered necklace. This example is broken below the arms and it comes from a tomb in the Kafkalla cemetery in Dhenia village in the district of Nicosia. While many examples come from tombs, their appearance in domestic situations suggests that they were placed in graves after their owner's death. They may be identifiable with a fertility goddess and could have been used in domestic shrines; alternatively it is also possible that they were toys or charms.

  Head and shoulders of plank figurine,
from excavations at Dhenia, Kafkalla cemetery
by H. Catling (AN1953.215)
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