Painted Early Cycladic Figures: An Exploration of Context and Meaning

by Elizabeth A. Hendrix

Hesperia, Volume 72, Issue 4
Page(s): 405-446
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182012
Year: 2003


Early Cycladic marble figures were commonly enriched with painted patterns. Certain motifs occur on a great number of figures, supporting the hypothesis that small communities separated by space as well as time wished to acknowledge and confirm cultural unity. Other patterns are relatively rare, suggesting a need to express smaller group or individual identities (perhaps associated with particular events). Possible functions and meanings for the figures are proposed here on the basis of these painted motifs, the archaeological contexts of the figures, and ethnographic parallels.