A 3D Digital Approach to the Stylistic and Typo-Technological Study of Small Figurines from Ayia Irini, Cyprus

Forskningsoutput: AvhandlingDoktorsavhandling (monografi)

344 Nedladdningar (Pure)


The thesis aims to develop a 3D digital approach to the stylistic and typo-technological study of coroplastic, focusing on small figurines. The case study to test the method is a sample of terracotta statuettes from an assemblage of approximately 2000 statues and figurines found at the beginning of the 20th century in a rural open-air sanctuary at Ayia Irini (Cyprus) by the archaeologists of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition. The excavators identified continuity of worship at the sanctuary from the Late Cypriot III (circa 1200 BC) to the end of the Cypro-Archaic II period (ca. 475 BC). They attributed the small figurines to the Cypro-Archaic I-II. Although the excavation was one of the first performed through the newly established stratigraphic method, the archaeologists studied the site and its material following a traditional, merely qualitative approach. The
analysis of the published results identified a classification of the material with no-clear-cut criteria, and their overlap between types highlights ambiguities in creating groups and classes. Similarly, stratigraphic arguments and different opinions among archaeologists highlight the need for revising. Moreover, past
legislation allowed the excavators to export half of the excavated antiquities, creating a dispersion of the assemblage. Today, the assemblage is still partly exhibited at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia and in four different museums in Sweden. Such a setting prevents to study, analyse and interpret the assemblage
holistically. This research proposes a 3D chaîne opératoire methodology to study the collection’s small terracotta figurines, aiming to understand the context’s function and social role as reflected by the classification obtained with the 3D digital approach. The integration proposed in this research of traditional archaeological studies, and computer-assisted investigation based on quantitative criteria, identified and defined with 3D measurements and analytical investigations, is adopted as a solution to the biases of a solely qualitative approach. The 3D geometric analysis of the figurines focuses on the objects’ shape and components, mode of manufacture, level of expertise, specialisation or skills of the craftsman and production techniques. The analysis leads to the creation of classes of artefacts which allow archaeologists to formulate hypotheses on the production process, identify a common production (e.g., same hand, same workshop) and establish a relative chronological sequence. 3D reconstruction of the excavation’s area contributes to the virtual re-unification of the assemblage for its holistic study, the relative chronological dating of the figurines and the interpretation of their social and ritual purposes. The results obtained from the selected sample prove the efficacy of the proposed 3D approach and support the expansion of the analysis to the whole assemblage, and possibly initiate quantitative and systematic studies on Cypriot coroplastic production.
Tilldelande institution
  • Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens historia
  • The Cyprus Institute (CyI)
  • Dell'Unto, Nicolo, handledare
  • Hermon, Sorin, handledare, Extern person
Tilldelningsdatum2022 dec. 1
UtgivningsortLund, Sweden
ISBN (tryckt)978-91-89415-54-6
ISBN (elektroniskt)978-91-89415-55-3
StatusPublished - 2022

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Antikvetenskap


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