Figurine of a warrior on horseback

Unknown"600-550 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

Figurine of a mounted warrior with spear or javelin in the raised right hand (the hole in which the weapon was inserted is stillvisible). It displays movement and naturalism, particularly in the way the horse is rendered, with relief mane and zigzag lines indicating the hair. The polychrome decoration of the terracotta is characteristic of Boeotian workshops of the first half of the 6th c. BC.vFigurines of this type were not a Boeotian invention. They occur in large quantities in Cyprus, in the 10th c. BC and in Athens in the 7th c. BC. The significance of horses and horse riders is not entirely clear to us, but their presence is dominant in ancient Greek graves. Most probably they were meant to underline the status of the deceased as a warrior or a hunter. Figurine modelling flourished in Boeotia, Attica, Corinth and Argos from the late 7th and throughout the 6th c. BC, as the thousands of Archaic figurines recovered from sanctuaries and graves of the period attest. Although this particular example is handmade, one reason for the remarkable burgeoning of coroplastic art in that period was the gradual use of moulds, which facilitated mass-production of clay figurines. Another reason was probably the spread of public religious cult to wider strata of society, with the founding of several new sanctuaries in urban and rural settings. Many more people frequented public cult places now and the poorer classes, unlike the aristocrats in the Geometric period, could not afford votive offerings made of metal for the gods.


  • Title: Figurine of a warrior on horseback
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: "600-550 BC" - ""
  • Provenance: Unknown
  • Physical Dimensions: w90 x h115 mm
  • Period: Archaic period
  • Culture: Greek (Boeotian)
  • Type: figurine
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, C. Politis Collection, no. 29, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay

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