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Fragments of terracotta figurines of women offering a garment to Athena Ergane. From the Temple plateau of the Timpone della Motta, first quarter of the 6th century BC. Original height ca. 15-20cm. Former Getty collection, National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.
Fragments of terracotta figurines of women offering a garment to Athena Ergane. From the Temple plateau of the Timpone della Motta, first quarter of the 6th century BC. Original height ca. 15-20cm. Former Getty collection, National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.

III.B.7. Terracotta figurines of worshippers dedicating a garment to Athena

The figurines were formed in the same mould, the one on the left somewhat  later than the one on the right, because at some stage small holes were punched in the mould to represent a decoration of small burls or tufts on the garment, which is present on the right-hand figurine but not on the one on the left.

Garments adorned with small fluffy tufts of wool probably really existed and are according to experts not very difficult to weave. That these young women represent worshippers and not the goddess herself is shown by the figurines’ slight imbalance, with one foot raised. This suggests movement, whereas images of goddesses are mostly hieratic and strictly frontal. The long veil or thin mantle worn over the head indicates East-Greek influence. These terracotta figurines show that the practice of dedicating garments, which began in the 8th century BC and is also known from the terracotta pinax of ‘Athena Ergane in naiskos’ (see Museum no. III.A.5) continued into the 6th century BC.

The object is associated with Temple V.e on the Timpone della Motta. Former Getty collection, now in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide at Sibari.