II.A.A.I.4. Faience scarab, two men restraining an animal, Timpone della Motta
This large and well-preserved faience scarab is rather flat and broad. The legs are carefully executed.
The scene on the seal side is more complex than is commonly found on scarabs. The animal shown in profile may be a horse, although the man on its back seems to hold on to a crescent-shaped object on the animal’s head. If this object is part of the head, then the animal is more likely to be a stag. However, a second man standing in front holds on to the animal’s head by what may be reins. In that case the object on the animal’s head may be another rope.
Underneath the horse is a crouching dog, and a stylised plant is visible behind the rider.
Such large scarabs with Orientalising images were manufactured on the island of Rhodes.
Interestingly, some very nice specimens have come to light at the South Italian sites of Torre del Mordillo and Francavilla Marittima. In Greece these larger scarabs are known from the sanctuary of Hera at Perachora and the Athena sanctuaries at Philia, on Lindos and at Old-Smyrna.
The scarab is associated with the ‘yellow layer’ with many votive objects belonging to Temple V.d on the Timpone della Motta, found during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004. It is now in the National Archaeological Museum at Sibari.