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Acquired in 1895, these bronze heads – two of bulls and one a bull calf – were made using the lost-wax casting method. They are hollow on the inside with cold-etched details including the eyebrows, eyes and hairs on the forehead, created with chiselled incisions. The ears and horns were cast separately and riveted to the head. In some cases, the eyes were filled with vitreous paste. Due to their technical perfection, there is discussion about whether this was indigenous or imported work. There are several theories as to their function. The sanctuary at Son Corró (Majorca) was operational from the 5th century BC until the Roman conquest, associated with a Talayotic settlement. It was a rectangular space with an apse at the top and decorative columns a metre high that were possibly used to support the bronze heads. This type of purely decorative column is related to the depiction of eastern Mediterranean deities, and by hanging the bull heads on them this further suggests that these were iconographic depictions of a Mediterranean deity, rather than evidence of bull worship.

Details

  • Title: Costitx bulls
  • Date Created: 5th to 3rd century BC
  • Provenance: Son Corró sanctuary (Costitx, Majorca, Spain)
  • Type: Bronzework
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Bronze
  • Cultural Context: Post-Talayotic culture (Balearic Preroman Iron Age)

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