achtergrond.jpg
Small bull in bronze, from the Scavi Stoop 1963-69, Timpone della Motta. Late 8th-early 7th century BC. Height 3.8cm. National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.
Small bull in bronze, from the Scavi Stoop 1963-69, Timpone della Motta. Late 8th-early 7th century BC. Height 3.8cm. National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.

0.A.2. Bronze Figurine of a bull, Timpone della Motta

Its disproportionately large head with forward pointing horns, and its stiffly spread legs, braced for action, make this small bronze figurine of a bull particularly expressive. As its excavator remarked, the animal seems to be about to  charge.

Terracotta and bronze figurines of animals were frequent votive gifts in ancient sanctuaries; examples are the early bull figurines dedicated to Zeus in the sanctuary at Olympia, and in South Italy the animal figurines found in the sanctuary of Santa Venera at Paestum.

Animal figurines are rare finds in the Athena sanctuary on the Timpone della Motta, which suggests that the common custom of offering a bronze or terracotta figurine as a symbolic substitute for a real animal was not practiced here.

The bull was probably cast by the lost-wax method, either via a clay prototype or using one directly moulded in wax. The eyes are impressed half-circles, and small incisions on the animal’s front suggest its furry hide.

The object comes from the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 and is now in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.