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Early Minoan Figurines in the Giamalakis Collection

Author(s): Keith Branigan


Source: The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 67 (1972), pp. 21-23
Published by: British School at Athens
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30103250
Accessed: 25-08-2017 19:42 UTC

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EARLY MINOAN FIGURINES IN THE
GIAMALAKIS COLLECTION

SHORTLY before the publication of BSA lxvi, containing my pa


Their Derivatives in Crete', I had the opportunity to examine a
in the Iraklion Museum.' I was also able to visit the museum
new figurines are on display. Altogether eight figurines may be
BSA lxvi, and it seems worthwhile publishing brief details of t
to date. In fact, however, both these eight and four other examp
add a little to our earlier discussion of Early Minoan figuri
description of the new figurines in each Type Group, and follo
comment on the significance of the new entry.

Neolithic Figurines

These were not discussed in detail in my previous article and th


be briefly treated here. Two of them belong to the small standin
ladies', of which so few others are known in Crete. One in the
is in a hard reddish stone and stands about five centimentres in
neither associations nor provenance. The second, on display in R
be from a Neolithic context at Gerani. From the same site,
lady', is a white marble figurine which, to my knowledge, has n
of the Aegean. Its torso is most closely paralleled by some of the
most notably one from Syros,3 but its head is no more than a sm
shoulders. There are interesting possibilities for comparisons w
Troadic figurines, but these are best left for the full public
figurines found with it. The fourth Neolithic figurine is an imp
collection (FIG. Ia). This standing figure in white marble is rela
larger and much more finely worked. Its attribution to the Ne
certain, since it has neither provenance nor associations. Among
Drios B type shows some affinities to it,4 but the Louros type
suggest contemporaneity with the Grotta-Pelos culture. In M
date in the sub-Neolithic or E.M. I periods. Important as the sim
be, however, the real significance of this piece may lie in its aff
for which a Minoan origin has been suggested, but for whic
difficult to identify.6 The main point of difference between th
Louros type is the pair of short prong-like and separated legs po
this feature which is so characteristic of the Ay. Onouphrios figu
well stand ancestral to the Ay. Onouphrios type.

I I am most grateful to Dr. St. AlexiouEarly Cycladic figurines',


for permission to AJA lxxiii (196
study and draw these figurines. after, Renfrew.
4 Renfrew
2 These items are to be published, I understand, by26-7;
Dr. pl. 7 i, j. 5 Renfrew
Tzedakis; so I do no more here than refer toBranigan,
6 K. them. 'Cycladic figurines and th
3 C. Renfrew, 'The development and in chronology of lxvi
Crete', BSA the (i971) 64-5. Hereafter,

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22 KEITH BRANIGAN

Folded Arm Figurines: Koumasa


IV E I9. Unknown proven
neck). Unpublished, Giamal
IV E 20o. Zinta. Unknow
15 cm. Unpublished.
These two examples add no
except to emphasise the popu
types.

D E H
F

C
A B

FIG. I. UNPUBLISHED EARLY MINOAN FIGURINES IN THE GIAMALAKIS COLLECTION. Scale 1:2.

The Porti Type


Porti 11. Mallia. Unknown context. White marble. Ht. c. 4'5 cm. Unpublished, but displayed
in Iraklion Museum.
Seven of the eleven figurines of this type have come from northern Crete between Knossos
and Mochlos, and presumably this distribution reflects the broad Aegean tradition to which the
type belongs.8

7 Branigan 60-2, Renfrew 18-20. 8 Branigan 75-7.

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MINOAN FIGURINES IN THE GIAMALAKIS COLLECTION 23

The Giophrakia Type


Giophrakia 8. Unknown provenance and date. Dark, bluish-green serpentin
Unpublished, Giamalakis Collection. (FIG. IC.)
This is a particularly good example of the type, although in profile it
flatter than most of the other figurines of this group. In particular the front of
have been made into completely flat surfaces. The material of which this f
perhaps suggestive of a date within E.M. III-M.M. I, and this is the sugg
group as a whole.

The Trapeza Type


Trapeza 8. Unknown provenance and date. Bone or ivory. Ht. 5-6
Giamalakis Collection. (FIG. Id.)
9. Unknown provenance and date. Bone or ivory. Ht. 3-7 cm. Unpub
Collection. (FIG. Ie.)
10. Unknown provenance and date. Bone or ivory. Ht. 6-6 cm. Unpub
Collection. (FIG. If.)
All three examples are characteristic of the type, with spade-shaped head
the mouth indicated. They are consistent, too, in showing the right arm fo
and Io are the largest examples yet found, but I and 6 are about the same si
four figurines have legs which extend below the knees and end in small fee
proved to have been of similar type, but the lower part of the legs had been
therefore, that 2-5 were also originally taller and possessed lower legs and
figurines were all made of a hard, creamy-white material which is probably
ivory.

The Siva Type


Siva 4. Unknown provenance and date. Bone or ivory. Ht. 8-5 cm. Unpublished, Giamalakis
Collection. (FIG. Ig.)
This is a welcome addition to a small group of which only one complete example was pre-
viously known. It possesses all the features previously described as characteristic of the type,
except for the marking of the mouth, which is absent on this example.

Finally, I illustrate another bone or ivory figurine in the Giamalakis Collection which does
not fall into any of the Type Groups previously identified. (FIG. ih.) It appears to be a true hybrid.
The head is spade-shaped and has a central nose-ridge like the Trapeza type, but the eyes are
indicated on this example-a feature never found on Trapeza figurines. The eyes and the small
squarish body with narrow shoulders and arms folded across the waist suggest a relationship
with the Siva type. Below the waist, however, there is no indication of the legs, but rather what
appears to be a full length dress as worn by Early Minoan female figurines with arms raised to
the breasts.9 This small figure serves to remind us that although we may be able to identify a
dozen or more distinctive figurine types in Early Bronze Age Crete, there are many mongrels
which we cannot fit into our neat typological classifications, and these are as much a reflection
of Minoan invention and individuality as are the Koumasa, Ay. Onouphrios, and other indigenous
figurine types we have been discussing.
KEITH BRANIGAN

9 cf. Sb. Xanthoudides, he Vaulted T ombs of Mesara (London, 124) p1. iv. 15j, pi. xxi. 128-Q

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