Plank figurine

Unknown"2000-1800 BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

One of the very rare stone plank figures known from prehistoric Cyprus. It is made of whitish chalk and has a flat body with small schematic arms. Traces of paint are mentioned in original records but are not visible anymore. There are only a few plank figures of whitish chalk (or other stones), which render the human form in an absolutely schematic manner. They are akin stylistically to the more common clay plank figurines (made in Red-Polished Ware), which appear towards the end of the Early Cypriot period. Plank-shaped human figures are used also as appliques on vases and in composite clay models of the same date. Some researchers associate the appearance of the clay examples with the settlement on Cyprus of new populations from Anatolia, where similar figurines were known since the Chalcolithic period. The stone specimens have a flat, almost rectangular body with no indication of anatomical details and small lateral projections as arms. Some have sporadic horizontal and vertical incisions, pierced "ears" - possibly for inserting earrings (as on their clay counterparts) - and bear traces of black or red paint. The role of these statuettes is enigmatic. According to one view, they were associated with beliefs on fertility and may have played a role in mortuary rites (with appropriate painted decoration or garment), before being deposited as grave goods. Other researchers suggest that they imitate large wooden cult effigies (xoana), which stood in prehistoric shrines.


  • Title: Plank figurine
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: "2000-1800 BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=1215&cnode=67&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Kidasi, Paphos district, Cyprus
  • Physical Dimensions: w240 x h810 x d82 mm
  • Period: Early - Middle Bronze Age
  • Culture: Cypriot
  • Type: figurine
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, Th.N. Zintilis Collection, no. 576, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: chalk

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