Horse and rider figurines from Ancient Marion

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Ancient Mediterranean cultures incorporated equine iconography into their artistic repertoires, demonstrating the horse's importance not only as a beast of burden and war, but also as a visual symbol of

Ancient Mediterranean cultures incorporated equine iconography into their artistic repertoires, demonstrating the horse's importance not only as a beast of burden and war, but also as a visual symbol of wealth and prestige. Interaction between man and horse appears in clay as early as the third millennium BC, along with the early development of ancient Near Eastern cultures. Tactical evolution in Near Eastern warfare, particularly the eclipse of chariot forces by the rise of cavalry, coincided with the emergence of equestrian terracotta figurines and facilitated the popularity of horse and rider imagery. Cyprus' many city-kingdoms have yielded a vast, coroplastic corpus in both votive and mortuary contexts, including figurines of equestrian type. These terracottas are an important contribution to the understanding of ancient Cypriote cultures, cities and their coroplastic oeuvre.

While many studies of excavated terracottas include horse and rider figurines, only a limited number of these publications dedicate adequate analysis and interpretation. Ancient Marion is one of the Cypriote city-kingdoms producing a number of equestrian terracottas that are in need of further examination. By focusing on the unpublished horse and rider figurines from Marion, this paper will add to the conversation of Cyprus' inclusion of equestrian iconography in coroplastic production. Through thorough analysis of the horse and rider terracottas, specifically their plastic and stylistic components, this thesis establishes typologies, makes visual comparisons and demonstrates Marion's awareness of an equine vogue both in contemporary Cyprus and abroad. The horse and rider figurines of Marion are an important contribution to the better understanding of the city-kingdom and exemplify the inclusion of equestrian imagery within the context of ancient societies.