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Male ovoid figure from Illa Plana

  • Male ovoid figure from Illa Plana. Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera © Ministerio de Cultura

    Male ovoid figure from Illa Plana. Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera © Ministerio de Cultura

     
  

Category

Rites, worship and beliefs

Date

450-401 BC (2nd half of the 5th century BC)

Cultural background

Punic

Original title

Figura masculina ovoide procedente de Illa Plana
Archeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera
Ibiza
Ibiza, Balearic Islands
Ibiza

This ovoid terracotta figure has a distinctly local character, in contrast with the traditional pieces of this kind found in Cyprus.

It is one of a group of figures with schematic heads reminiscent of birds, and was found in the shrine of Illa Plana. It was originally thought to be a container for libations (pagan funeral rite), as the sexual apparatus it holds has a groove on the back. However, this was related to the firing of the object and not to its function.

It was found inside a ditch (bothros), which also contained 35 complete figures and fragments of other similar pieces linked to a cult of fertility.
 

Details of the work

Object
Figure

Dimensions
Height = 24.1 cm; Maximum diameter = 10.2 cm; Weight = 880 gr; Maximum width = 12.2 cm

Technique
Made by wheel, modelling, painted with a paintbrush: Two red bands on the back of the figure

Material
Dark ochre-coloured ceramic paste, with many medium-sized particles of mica and limestone

  

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