|Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology|
in the Ashmolean Museum
|Highlights of the Collection: Prehistoric Terracottas|
|Mounted warrior (AN1971.852)||Back to previous page|
Robust little composition of a mounted warrior. He is, strangely, sitting sideways on his horse, with one arm round the horse's neck and the other clutching a detachable sword. His right leg has broken off. He possibly wears a high conical helmet, like the occupants of the chariot model [AN1974.349 (below right)], but his head is so rudimentarily modelled that it is difficult to tell. At any rate, he is evidently bearded and seems to have a fairly prominent nose. Areas of red paint alternating with black lines are well preserved on the horse, and red paint on the rider's sword, his left arm and his leg. He has a red diagonal cross on his back, probably representing the strapping to hold his sword-belt.
Terracotta figurines of warriors on horseback are, like the chariot groups and the female figures, common features of Cypriot sanctuaries in the Cypro-Archaic period, though they are also found in tombs. Like other Cypriot terracottas, each one tends to have its own distinctive individuality within a fairly standardised type. It has been suggested that some of them were toys, a suggestion which seems quite appealing in this case in view of the warrior's moveable sword.
|Chariot Model, AN1974.349|
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