Terracotta jointed "doll"

Period: Classical

Date: 5th century B.C.

Culture: Greek, Corinthian

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H. 4 3/4 in. (12 cm)

Classification: Terracottas

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1944

Accession Number: 44.11.8


Many examples of such small jointed figurines have been found in tombs, sanctuaries, and terracotta factories. Their attire—a cylindrical polos (headdress) and a short tunic and shoes—seems to indicate that they are ritual dancers. Similarly dressed dancers on reliefs of the fifth century B.C. hold castanets, and some of the jointed figurines hold cymbals or castanets. They are too fragile to serve as real dolls and must have been charms hung up to repel evil with their potential noise and movement.