achtergrond.jpg
Bronze figurine of Athena Ergane receiving a dedicated peplos (now missing), found during the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 in the Athenaion on the Timpone della Motta, height 9.7 cm; 550-525BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.
Bronze figurine of Athena Ergane receiving a dedicated peplos (now missing), found during the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 in the Athenaion on the Timpone della Motta, height 9.7 cm; 550-525BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.

0.A.I. Bronze figurine of Athena Ergane with a dedicated peplos, Athenaion, Timpone della Motta

The figurine stands on a low base. Its round/oval face is flanked by half-long hair, which also covers the upper back. The rendering is strictly frontal and hieratic, with the feet placed side by side and the lower arms stretched forward, the left one slightly higher than the right one. The hands are loosely clenched around a hole.

The woman is dressed in a close- fitting, ankle-length garment, presumably a peplos, although no girdle or any other details are visible on the back. The smoothness of the backside makes an interpretation of the section that covers the front of the torso as an apoptygma (overfold) uncertain, as does the presence of a heavy band along its lower seam, which runs over the arms to the back.

The excavator, Maria  W. Stoop interpreted this garment as a short mantle, but we think it represents an aegis. Various other characteristics support this. The large and roundish head, the short upper arms held tightly to the body, the position of the lower arms and the hands, for instance, all strongly recall terracotta’s produced in the Timpone della Motta workshops. See for example the Athena Ergane 1 (Museum no. III.A.5.) for the hands; the Athena Ergane 2 (Museum no. III.B.6.) for the aegis, upper arms and hands; the Francavilla Palladion (Museum no. III.A.6.) for the aegis and the female dedicants offering garments for the arms and general stance (Museum no. III.B.7.).

Dr. Stoop interpreted this statuette as representing Athena Hippia, standing in a carriage and holding the reins of the horses. In Stoop’s opinion the hole in the statuette served to fix the figure to its carriage. Although this interpretation cannot be excluded altogether, there is another possibility that is more in line with the Athena tradition of the Timpone della Motta sanctuary. The figurine may be a rendering of Athena Ergane holding a garment. That this is the goddess herself - unlike the terracotta’s holding garments that were discussed in  Museum no. III.B.7. - is indicated by the strictly hieratic position and the presence of an aegis.

Found during the Scavi Stoop 1963-69 on the Temple plateau on top of the Timpone della Motta, now in the National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.