Early Cycladic (3100-2200 B.C.E.)
Dokathismata-type Female Figurine
19.9 x 6.8 x 2.5 cm
Purchase, Decorative Arts Acquisition Fund and William Gilman Cheney Bequest, inv. 1960.Ca.1
Archeology and World Cultures
Among Early Cycladic figures, the Dokathismata type, named after a cemetery on the island of Amorgos, is characterized by wide, angular shoulders. On some figures, traces of pigment show that further details, in particular facial features, would have been added in paint. Most figures are female, displaying breasts in relief and an incised pubic triangle. Although the femaleness of these figures appears to have been important, the small size of the sexual features means that there is no clear visual evidence that fertility and procreation were the main ideas underlying the production of such objects. They appear to have been used mainly as funerary offerings, perhaps to accompany the deceased, but also sometimes as votive offerings, possibly suggesting multiple functions and meanings.