female figurine playing a lyre (figurine)


This pottery figurine depicts a woman or goddess in draped clothing, with a necklace, bracelet and head-dress and and carrying a lyre. Substantial traces of red pigment survive on her clothing.

During the Cypriot Iron Age, terracotta figurines like this were very popular offerings left in temples. There was a particularly strong culture of goddess worship, especially of Aphrodite who was said to have been born in Cyprus.

As this particular figurine carries a lyre instrument, she could possibly represent Erato, one of the Greek Muses and goddess of erotic and lyrical poetry. During this early period, lyres were often used to accompany recitations of lyric poetry, ordinarily played by strumming like a guitar rather than being plucked with the fingers.

This object is not on display.

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