Universiteit Leiden

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Goddesses of Akragas

  • G.K. van Rooijen
woensdag 11 december 2019
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


The terracotta figurines from Akragas (Agrigento, Sicily) refer in their appearance to a prosperous life. The extensive jewellery on the figurines contains large fibulae appliques fastening pectoral chains with several sorts of pendants. The body of the figurines remained armless and abstract for some time. The block shaped, sloping upper body might have originated with aniconic objects, but suggests here a seated person. 

An archaeological experiment on figurine production and a detailed material analysis proved most of the figurines studied to have been designed and produced locally. Moulds of wooden figurines were used in the production of the moulds. Exchange with Selinous resulted in variations of the standard and figurines with finely detailed faces. 

Designing and dedicating these votive figurines, and possibly also jewellery, to a cult statue might have acted as a unifying element for the multi-ethnic society of Akragas. By means of these anthropomorphic female figurines, portrayed after women, people could express their traditions and wishes using old and new symbols such as the Phoenician crescent and the Greek satyr. Their cultural influences formed a new religious setting and were placed in the newly prosperous context, helping to forge a new identity unique to Akragas.

Lees de volledige samenvatting (pdf)


  • Prof.dr. N. Sojc


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