Terracotta statuette of woman with bird face

Period: Late Cypriot II

Date: ca. 1450–1200 B.C.

Culture: Cypriot

Medium: Terracotta; hand-made

Dimensions: H. 8 3/16 in. (20.80 cm)

Classification: Terracottas

Credit Line: The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76

Accession Number: 74.51.1542


This standing nude female figurine with arms bent and hands resting against the stomach is typical of coroplastic art of the Late Cypriot II and III periods. Characteristically, it has a birdlike face, large nose, and large pierced ears with earrings in clay. The pubic triangle is accentuated and the breasts are clearly shown, perhaps indicating that it is a fertility goddess. In this particular instance, the goddess is holding an infant. This type of figurine may be Syrian in origin; Cypriot sculptors, during this period, adopted the type and created their own variation.