Painted Females: Early Cycladic II Grieving Figures?

 Painted Females: Early Cycladic II Grieving Figures? Composition

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF ARCHAEOLOGY

THE RECORD OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA

Amount 106 • No . 5

October 2002

Painted Women: Early Cycladic II Mourning Figures?

GAIL L. HOFFMAN

Abstract

The function and meaning of Early Cycladic figures is definitely debated. With many sculptures missing clear archaeological contexts as well as the ever-present concern about forgeries, any significant advance in our understanding of these types of works has seemed less likely. By concentrating on paint records, a rarely-studied detail with the sculptures, this article suggests that a tiny group of foldedarm figures (FAFs), preserved with red up and down stripes coated on their face, represent mourning figures used in funerary habit. Combining close observation from the FAFs and the one guaranteed context (in graves), ancient greek language evidence regarding figure work with and funerals, as well as ethnographic study of figure uses, it is asserted that Cycladic figures had a use-life before burial and that figures can be painted too many times and based on a motifs to reflect their very own changing jobs in this sort of events because initiations, relationships, and funerals. Finally, the Cycladic numbers may echo the development of ancestral ritual at the begining of Cycladic society in part as being a response to hard to find natural solutions. *

The importance of proper mourning for the dead is evident in fifth-century Greek skill and materials, where women's roles in funerals were especially important. Much previous, ca. 2500 B. C., women's tasks as mourners were likely equally central to contemporary society. At that time, Let me argue, crucial individuals were mourned throughout the display during a funeral wedding ceremony of colored marble sculptures which were then simply left since offerings in the deceased's burial plot. The details of public funerals and their functions within world change through time; however , close examination * I would really like to admit the many individuals who have helped and encouraged me personally with this content, especially Dab GetzGentle, At the Hendrix, Arthur W. Hoffman, and Joyce L. Hoffman; Gregory Nagy and the Center for Hellenic Studies, specifically their librarians who worked well tirelessly to get research supplies for me; T. J. Pollitt, Lauren Talalay, and Gordon Williams. I would really prefer to say thanks to the two confidential AJA visitors whose comments and recommendations were extremely constructive and helpful. And i also would love to say thanks to audiences of Yale alumni and at lectures at Boston College, George Washington University, Miami of Ohio, Grain, Wesleyan, William and Jane, and Yale. 1 Around the distinction among use or function and meaning, see Talalay 93, 38. two Nearly all who have discuss the figures lament the loss of archaeological contexts. On this catastrophe, find esp. Gill and Chippindale 1993. You can also get some who argue academic work on the figures ought to be limited because of the lack of source and because it serves to encourage the market for these

with the actual expression and gestures of sadness as well as can certainly central role in mourning show why these elements of the funeral stay remarkably steady over the millennia separating fifth-century Athens from your Early Bronze Age Cyclades. Since their particular discovery inside the early 19th century, Cycladic marble statistics have provoked speculation of their possible uses and connotations. 1 A full understanding of the functions of Cycladic statistics in Early Cycladic society is restricted by a insufficient clear archaeological contexts, 2 while an awareness of their symbolism is hampered by the a shortage of textual facts and the roughly 4, five-hundred years distancing us from the culture that made them. Although by such a distance we could only hypothesize about the rituals and ideology of Early Cycladic islanders, a frequently overlooked feature of the figures—traces of painted decoration—may offer a way to improve our understanding of their functions. Perhaps because paint is definitely visible upon relatively couple of figures (and is poorly preserved) very little indepth concern exists...