Department of Antiquities

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Ancient Cyprus
in the Ashmolean Museum
  Highlights of the Collection: Aphrodite, Female Figurines and Cyprus
  Aphrodite, Female Figurines and Cyprus: Late Bronze Age Female Figurines (continued)
  Terracotta female figurine (AN1896.2)

More naturalistic figurines are also found from the Late Bronze Age on Cyprus. They are more like humans than the stylised bird-featured figurines but they may represent the same fertility goddess, perhaps suggesting different aspects of her character. This figurine is from Ayia Paraskevi in the Nicosia district. Naturalistic figurines have been found in settlement, burial and ritual assemblages. As with the other figurines, this could mean that they were personal possessions used in religious circumstances but also with a place in domestic situations. The figurine has lines representing necklaces around her neck and also a piercing in her belly button. Even in her most naturalistic representation, the Cypriot fertility goddess still wears her jewellery. Perhaps jewellery was considered a pivotal part of the ritual surrounding love and fertility, on a domestic and religious level.

  Image: Terracotta female figurine,
from Ayia Paraskeui, purchased (AN1896.2)
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