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of a Fertility Goddess, 3000 - 2500 B.C.
H: 42.4 cm; Width: 27.7 cm; Diam (at hips): 42 cm
Cypriot female figurines are clearly associated with fertility
and childbirth, and this figure with her flattened thighs is squatting
in a birthing position. The detailed head of the woman with added
facial features and hair atop an elongated neck contrasts with
her highly schematized body with its large pendent breasts. The
double-roped bands on the arms may represent some form of jewelry.
Female figurines are found throughout the Mediterranean in the
third millenium B.C. Over one hundred cruciform figures made in
southwestern Cyprus in the period 3000 – 2500 B.C. are known,
but almost all are considerably smaller in scale than this example.
Only one other figure of this large size is known; these two may
have served as cult images representing a fertility goddess. The
figure’s left arm, with its clearly visible attachment holes,
was repaired in antiquity. This repair attests to the figure’s
value and importance to the ancient Cypriots.
Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California, USA
J. Paul Getty Museum
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