Ivory disc engraved with a bull


British Museum

British Museum

The small number of ivories from the Late Bronze Age town of Hala Sultan Tekke were probably carved locally and, like other products of Cypriot ivory workshops at this time, they show influences from both east and west. The theme of the bull with a backward-turning head has a long history in Mycenaean Greece, and is ultimately derived from the art of Minoan Crete. This example is particularly freely drawn, the incised line firmly and surely outlining the graceful animal. There is even an unusual attempt at a three-quarter view, shown in the position of the horns. The disc may originally have been the lid of a cylindrical box in ivory or wood.

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  • Title: Ivory disc engraved with a bull
  • Date Created: -1340/-1100
  • Physical Dimensions: Diameter: 5.10cm; Thickness: 0.35cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: incised
  • Subject: mammal
  • Registration number: 1898,1201.203
  • Production place: Made in Cyprus
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Hala Sultan Tekke
  • Period/culture: Late Cypriot IIC; Late Cypriot IIIA
  • Material: ivory
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Excavated by British Museum


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