Iberian sculpture (Bicha de Balazote)

Unknown5th century - 4th century BC

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

This sculpture represents an androcephalic bull (a mythical animal with the body of a bull and a human head). It formed part of a funerary monument in which it performed the function of guardian and protector. The head is sculptured from a different block to that used for the body. The mouth is small, the eyes large, there are the remains of horns (which have not been preserved), and below them the ears. The hair is indicated by tufts using a straight incision. In terms of iconography it is identified with the representation of Achelous, a Greek river god. Combined with its features and general style this means it can be considered a work of Greek influence created on an underlying oriental base.


  • Title: Iberian sculpture (Bicha de Balazote)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 5th century - 4th century BC
  • Provenance: Balazote (Albacete, Spain)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Limestone
  • Cultural Context: Iberian

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