Standing Goddess or Figurine
1st century BC
Gallery 20, Indian Art
Ground Floor

  Related Objects in the Ashmolean

1. Cycladic Figurine
c. 2800BC
Gallery 30, Ancient Crete & the Aegean
First Floor

This enigmatic figurine, made of marble, comes from the island of Naxos in the Aegean Sea. It is among one of the earliest types of folded-arm figurines and dates to around 2800BC. It looks more naturalistic than others of the folded-arm type due to the soft-rounded contours of the body.

It is likely that this figurine was once painted. Looking very closely one can just make out shadows of long-vanished paint around the right eye and on the top of the head, where the outline of a headdress of hair can be seen forming an arc above the nose and a triangular shape down the back of the head.

Many of these figurines were found in graves and their exact use and significance are not known. Most scholars believe that they may have been used in fertility rites.