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Cypro-Archaic Period Earthenware Chariot Wheel Fragment

Cypro-Archaic Period Earthenware Chariot Wheel Fragment

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Cypro-Archaic Period I & II, c. 700-475 BC, Kourion, Republic of Cyprus.

Charming fragment of a ancient horse figure. Cypriots of the Archaic Period (c. 700-475BC) produced simple handmade figurines with coarse faces, cylindrical bodies and plain clay pellets to form hats, eyes, ears etc. Predominantly found in a sanctuary context, these models included not only priestesses and worshipers, but clerks, actors, musicians, mythological creatures, animals, and scenes of rural life. Riding horses, in warfare or for transport, was the privilege of an elite society at this time. The frequency of such horse and rider figurines (soldiers, horsemen, charioteers, disciples) suggests a great amount of dispute in Cyprus during the Iron Age. Horse and rider figurines were offered to a male divinity, and numerous examples have been found in the sanctuary of Apollo Hylates at Kourion. Hylates was a god worshipped on the island of Cyprus who was later likened to the Greek god Apollo. He was worshipped from the 3rd century BC until the 3rd century AD.

Lovely chariot wheel fragment from Cypro-Archaic terracotta group. Hand modelled small disc-shaped wheel. Terracotta and slip decorated in bichrome technique with red painted decoration. Moderate condition. Age-related heavy wear, abrasion, chip and corrosion. Faded colors. Rich deposits on exterior. Dirt, dust and soil. Size approx. 6,6cm x 5,1cm x 6,0cm. 

Provenance: According to information, from the collection of professor Dr. Med. Albert Fischer, 1891–1956. Founder and director of the Carlsberg Foundation biological institute, Copenhagen (1932–1956). Albert Fischer acquired antiquities during his travels in the 1930s-1950s.

References and further reading:

Terracotta Figurines from Kourion in Cyprus, John Howard Young & Suzanne Halstead Young, Published by: The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1955.

Handbook of the Cesnola Collection of Antiquities from Cyprus, John L. Myres, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1914.

Horse and Rider Figurines from Ancient Marion, Chelsea Walter, Arizona State University, December 2014.


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