Marble funerary statues of a maiden and a little girl

Period: Late Classical

Date: ca. 320 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Marble, Pentelic

Dimensions: H. of woman 56 7/8 in. (144.5 cm)
H. of girl 40 9/16 in. (103 cm)

Classification: Stone Sculpture

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1944

Accession Number: 44.11.2, .3


Toward the end of the fourth century B.C., Attic grave monuments became increasingly elaborate. Freestanding figures such as these were often placed within a shallow, roofed, marble structure that was open at the front. The older girl shown here must have died in her teens, before marriage, for she wears her mantle pinned at the shoulders and hanging down her back. This distinctive manner of dress was apparently reserved for young virgins who had the honor of leading processions to sacrifice, while carrying a basket containing barley, fillets, and the sacrificial knife. Being a kanephoros (basket bearer) was the highest honor possible for a maiden in the years just preceding marriage, and this girl is represented wearing the festival dress.