Tuesday, January 04, 2005
Late Bronze Age: ARTIFACT OF THE DAY: Boetia Madonna . I spotted this variation of the seated "plank" goddess in a small case in the British Museum. These smaller (about hand size) terracotta figurines were made of clay, flat on one side, with more details on the front side, sometimes with only the face shown in any detail. This is a particularly fine "plank goddess" given the details of the modeling. These figurines were often thrown into lakes, found as burial or temple offerings, or (in some variations) found in house rubble as goddesses of the hearth. Note the crown, Greek dress peplum and the details of the swaddling on the baby. It's not certain who she is -- a later version of Ishtar with child? Aphrodite? The location of Boetia puts her in sometime in the Bronze Age, but the details of the figure suggest a later date. I'm interested in the theme of mother and child, venerated well before Christianity. As always, more information is needed!