Representations of Musicians in the Coroplastic Art of the Ancient World: Iconography, Ritual Contexts and Functions
Terracottas figurines with representations of musicians are a privileged field of investigation in understanding the importance of music in both its production and performative contexts. Figurines of male and female musicians are emblematic of the close link between musical practice and the sacred and ritual spheres. They contribute not only to the reconstruction of what music and the production of music meant for ancient societies, but also provide information concerning the relationship of performance to the deities, and about which musical instruments were best suited to the particulars of diverse ritual occasions, including sacred and funerary contexts.
The analysis of terracotta figurines will take into account the presence and characteristics of different musical instruments, gestures, positions, and the clothing of both male and female musicians. The goal is to understand the status of the musicians and to interpret their musical and symbolic significance. Additionally, the terracottas will be analyzed in relation to the development of musical culture and their wider historical and social context.
These topics will be addressed through contributions by scholars working in various fields: archaeology, art history, musicology, history of religion, and anthropology.
Claude Calame, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Centre AnHiMA: Anthropology and History of the Ancient Worlds), Paris
Choral Songs of Girls in Preclassical Sparta:
Poetic Performance, Rhythmical Rituals, Musical Arts, Gendered Identities
The song and dance culture of Ancient Greece, particularly in preclassical Sparta, offers many melic poems corresponding to choral songs ritually performed on the occasion of the different stages of an educational cursus, erotic, religious and social; it has an initiatory function To the different rhythms of the sung and danced performance (vocal rhythm, rhythm of the musical melody, metrical rhythm corresponding to a choreography and a set of gestures) has to be added the rhythm of the annual religious and civic calendar; it is made of the cultic festivals in which are inserted the rituals attached to the different stages leading young men and young girls from instable adolescence to mature adulthood. This rythmical sung and ritual cursus can be highlighted in the reading of a «partheneion» song composed by the poet Alcman in Sparta and performed by a choral group of young women.
Claude Calame is Emeritus Director of Studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (Centre AnHiMA: Anthropology and History of the Ancient Worlds), Paris. Formerly he was Professor of Greek language and literature at the University of Lausanne. He also taught at the universities of Urbino and Siena in Italy, and at Yale University. In English he published The Craft of Poetic Speech in Ancient Greece (Cornell University Press 1995), The Poetics of Eros in Ancient Greece (Princeton University Press 1999), Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece (Rowman & Littlefield, 2001, 2nd ed.), Masks of Authority. Fiction and Pragmatics in Ancient Greek Poetics (Cornell University Press 2005), Poetic and Performative Memory in Ancient Greece (CHS – Harvard University Press 2009), Greek Mythology. Poetics, Pragmatics and Fiction (Cambridge University Press 2009).
Annie Caubet, Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, Paris
Musician Dwarves in Ancient Mesopotamia and Elam
A number of terracotta plaques of the early Second millennium BC in Babylonia and Elam depict craftsmen engaged in their activity, among them a number of lyre, lute and harp players. They provide excellent information on the shape and construction technique of these instruments. Their archaeological context are unknown and their function and meaning unclear: they may have been dedicated to the gods by musician votaries wishing to leave their mark; or by non musicians, in order to perpetuate the celebration of rituals accompanied by such musical instruments.
Most of these plaques, obtained from one mold pressed on the fresh clay, depict the figures seen in profile, in conformity with standard Mesopotamian iconography. A smaller group, however, show a figure seen en face, a common visual device for the depiction of supra human, magical figures. Not only is the head, but the whole body is presented in front view, each leg extending outwards, knees flexed, boldly displaying the sexual parts. The proportions of the different components of the body, the overlarge large head, the shortened, distorted legs, are diagnostic traits of nanism, or dwarfs, who are rumored in popular belief to possess extra natural sexual power. In the visual arts of the ancient world, these traits have been borrowed for the depiction of such fantastic figures as the wild man Humbaba in Mesopotamia, Bes in Egypt and the Levant, Gorgon in Greece. A significant number of these terracotta dwarf figures of Mesopotamia and Elam are musicians: they are engaged in playing a lute, while their bent legs are shown to represent a dancing movement, an illustration of the Biblical passage where David danced before the Ark, flexing his knees (II Samuel 6, 15).
These dwarf figures are early illustration of the ambiguous status, both positive and repulsive enjoyed by music and musicians in the ancient world, examples of which are to be found in later grotesque musician figures from the Graeco-Roman world.
Annie Caubet is Honorary Curator at the Louvre Museum and headed the Department of Ancient Near Eastern Antiquities at the Louvre from 1988 to 2005. She curated numerous special exhibitions at the Louvre and at other museums, most recently Zervos et l’art des Cyclades, Zervos Museum, Vezelay, 2011. She is also a professor at the École du Louvre. She is a recent recipient of a Mellon Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for 2013-2014 and a Glassman-Holland Fellowship at the W.F. Albright Institute in Jerusalem for 2010-2011. Her research interests have centered on the French excavation of Kition Bamboula (Cyprus) under the directorship of Marguerite Yon, in collaboration with Sabine Fourrier, Olivier Callot, and Yves Calvet. She has published numerous articles and books on aspects of ancient Near Eastern art and archaeology, with particular attention to faience, ivory, precious stones, coroplastic material. Her latest papers on the archaeology of music appeared in S. Emerit (ed.) Le statut du musician, Le Caire 2013 and in J. Goodnick Westenholz, Y. Maurey, E. Seroussi, (éds.), “Music in Antiquity. The Near East and the Mediterranean, Yuval Studies of the Jewish Music Research Center VIII, Berlin, 2014. Her coroplastic interests are reflected in her role as editor for L’art des modeleurs d’argile: antiquités de Chypre. Musée du Louvre. Coroplastique (by Sabine Fourrier, Anne Queyrel, and Frieda Vandenabeele, Paris, 1998) and Les figurines de Suse. Musée du Louvre (by Laurianne Martinez-Sève, Paris, 2002).
Gabriela Currie, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The Monkeys of Yotkan and Their Musical Instruments: Iconographical Explorations
A large sample of striking terracotta figures (ca. 3rd-6th centuries) comes from Khotan, the ancient Buddhist kingdom on the branch of the Silk Road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan desert (today Xianjiang, China). They came to the attention of European archeologists Sven Hedin and Aurel Stein at the turn of the twentieth century, during their explorations of the southern oases of the Tarim basin. Most often exposed by the spring floods from the archeological layers of what had been the capital of the kingdom, Yotkan, and sold by local peddlers in the bazaar, some of these figures may once have served ritualistic functions, particularly in the case of monkeys engaged in explicit sexual games, and those playing various musical instruments (several types of drums, short-necked lutes, and panpipes).
This paper argues that, while actual monkeys were never found in the Tarim basin, the musical dimension of these small figurines strengthens the existing theory that the Khotan terracottas have a direct correspondence to Gandharan art, the Hellenistic-Buddhist synthesis created early in the first millennium CE in the cultural spheres of the Kushan Empire. On the one hand, the monkey motif seems to relate to Buddhist Jakata stories, hence harkening back to a possible Indian origin. On the other hand, most of the musical instruments these protagonists handle, particularly the short-necked lute and certain types of drums, are characteristic not of the Indian, but the Gandharan musical repertoire disseminated throughout the Kushan empire. As such, “the monkeys of Yotkan” stand witness to the intense cultural cosmopolitanism that marked the history of the Tarim basin in the first part of the millennium CE.
Gabriela Currie is Associate Professor of Musicology at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her research interests encompass a broad range of subjects including medieval music thought in the Latin, Byzantine, and Islamic worlds; the intersection of music, religion, philosophy, science, and visual arts in pre- and early-modern European cultures; and pre- and early-modern Byzantine and Eurasian music iconography. She is the author of The Play of Meanings: Aribo's De musica and the Hermeneutics of Musical Thought and of numerous articles that appeared in scholarly journals as well as edited collections. Current work includes a monograph study on mathematics, natural philosophy, theories of sound, and musical cosmologies at the crossroads of late scholastic thought; and several projects under the theoretical umbrella of pre-modern global intersections and patterns of Eurasian intercultural exchange.
Elçin Doğan Gürbüzer, Ege University-Izmir, Turkey
The Terracotta Figurines with Stringed Instruments from the Sanctuary of Apollo Clarios
The sanctuary of Apollo Clarios is located in Turkey, within the borders of what is currently known Ahmetbeyli, district of Izmir. It was situated in Ionian region in antiquity. The establishment of the sanctuary lays back to 13th century BC and it was used continuously up to the late Roman period. The sanctuary which was dedicated to Apollo, the god of oracle, had received in large quantities of figurines as votive offerings from Sub-Mycenean Period until Hellenistic Period. Among those figurines, the representations carrying stringed instruments on the left hand have a special importance. The so-called instruments are called lyra, kithara and barbitos. On the other hand, the figurine groups which are serial productions reflect a stylistic progress within themselves. Eventually, they should have an important role in the cult activies of the sanctuary from the second half of the 6th century BC to the Hellenistic period. The three instruments which differ from each other by means of their function and structure indicate the different cults as well. In this study, the icongraphic and stilistic meanings of the figurines will be discussed, the difference of the instruments will be displayed and the functions of the figurines in the context of the sanctuary will be examined.
Elçin Doğan Gürbüzer is an Assistant Professor of Classical Archaeology at Ege University in Izmir, Turkey, in the department of Tourism Guidance where she has been a faculty member since 2012. She received her B.S.and M.D. from the same university, department of Classical Archaeology before completing her PhD with a thesis titled The Terracotta Figurines of Claros and their Evolution in the Scope of Cults. In recent years she has been involved in several excavation projects and has been a co-director of the Claros excavation. Her research interests are terracotta figurines, iconography and cults. As she is also a professional tour guide, she gives lectures on applied tour guiding and also on archaeological topics, such as ancient settlements, the history of Anatolia and the ancient civilizations in Asia Minor.
Mireia López-Bertran, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain and Agnès Garcia-Ventura, Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy
Performing Music in Phoenician and Punic Rituals: a Coroplastic Approach
The aim of the paper is to present and analyze the sample of Phoenician and Punic (7th-2nd centuries BC) musician terracottae from some areas of the Western Mediterranean (Iberia, Ibiza and Carthage). It is our intention to study them keeping in mind three issues. First, we will describe the instruments represented and the body gestures that entail the practice of performing music with certain instruments. Secondly, we will contextualise them (chronology and place of finding) to offer a comprehensive approach in order to shed some light into both the presence of music in rituals and their possible use when performing rites. Thirdly, we want to recall our attention to their gender as they are mostly feminine. We will argue that playing music is an empowerment activity for some Phoenician and Punic women.
Agnès Garcia-Ventura was awarded her PhD by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) in 2012 with a thesis on the textile production in Ur III Mesopotamia. As Postdoc, she had a “Material Text Cultures Research Fellow” at the Collaborative Research Centre 933, “Material Texts Cultures”, of the Rupert Charles University in Heidelberg (November 2012-May 2013). She also worked for one academic year as Assistant Professor at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2013-2014). Since October 2014 she is “Beatriu de Pinós” Postdoc fellow at the La Sapienza, Università di Roma. Her main areas of interest are gender studies (especially their application to Assyriology), historiography of Ancient Near Eastern studies in Spain, the organization of work in Mesopotamia and ancient musical performance (in both Mesopotamia and the Phoenician and Punic contexts).
Mireia López-Bertran is Beatriu de Pinós/Marie Curie fellow at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain). She received her PhD degree in History from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona, Spain) in 2007. Her dissertation focused on Phoenician and Punic rituals in rural landscapes. Between 2010 and 2012 she was postdoctoral fellow with the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture—FECYT and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, where she carried out a project about Phoenician and Punic clay human figurines. She specialises in the Phoenician and Punic sites of the ancient Mediterranean, with research interests in embodiment, rituals and gender.
Regine Hunziker-Rodewald, University of Strasbourg
Rethinking Figurines – Females from Rabbath-Ammon and Beyond
Among the small finds from the Iron Age II that have been discovered on the Citadel of Rabbath-Ammon were fragments of more than sixty female terracotta figurines (Database Franco-German Figurines Project). 25% of these mass-produced figurines are presented as playing a decorated frame drum. These female musicians with big almond-shaped eyes are nude or half-nude, show their long curled hair and wear most often jewellery. When the lower body and the legs are preserved, the figurines’ decorated girdles can be seen and their multiple anklets that are supposed to accentuate the rhythm of the drums by a dancing gesture. The pubic region is strongly emphasized. The female musicians are typologically identical, but their concrete appearance and the quality of the clay differ. To the south of the Rabbath-Ammon region (Wadi ath-Thamad, Karak) similar or identical female musicians have been found that were attached on both sides of the entrance of ceramic shrine models. This fact proves the cultic function of these figurines. Their significance has still to be explained, yet, it is highly probable that they were linked to the cult of the god El.
Regine Hunziker-Rodewald received her degrees from the universities of Zurich, Berne and Tubingen, and is professor of Old Testament Studies and the History of the ancient Near East at the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Strasbourg. She is director of the joint French-German project focusing on the female terracotta figurines of Iron Age II Jordan (FGFP). She also is leading a research seminar in collaboration with the TEO (Territoires et Empires d’Orient, UMR 7044-Archimède) Strasbourg team on the female figurines of the ancient Near East, Egypt, Nubia, and the Mediterranean from the second and first millennium BCE and is a member of the Organizing Committee of the International Colloquium “Nude Female Figurines. Ancient Near East, Egypt, Nubia, Mediterranean (Neolithic period – third century CE). Comparative and Contextual Studies,” to be held on June 25-26, 2015 at the University of Strasbourg.
Kiki Karoglou, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Departing from two terracotta statuettes in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that represent Eros playing the kithara and the tambourine (MMA 17.230.46 and 06.1069 respectively), this paper will explore the iconography of Eros playing music and its possible meanings and ritual functions. Although flying Nikai and Erotes are among the most popular terracottas in the late Classical and Hellenistic period, this particular class of statuettes has not received closer attention. Since most are found in tombs, the paper will examine how the figure of Eros as a musician operates within the general framework of depictions of musical performance and dance in a funerary context.
Kyriaki Karoglou is Assistant Curator of Greek and Roman Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Previously, she hold internships at the Getty Museum, The Princeton Art Museum, and the Athens Acropolis Museum and participated in numerous excavations and surveys in the Mediterranean. She is currently involved in the planning of an international loan exhibition organized by the Met’s Greek and Roman department on “Pergamon and the Art of the Hellenistic Kingdoms,” scheduled for spring 2016. Kiki did her undergraduate studies at the University of Athens, and received her Ph.D. from Princeton University with a dissertation on votive plaques dedicated in Attic sanctuaries of the Archaic and Classical periods, the basis for her monograph on Attic Pinakes (Oxford 2010). She is a recipient of many fellowships and grants and has taught courses on Greek Sculpture and Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology at the University of Toronto and The College of New Jersey. Her research focuses on Ancient Greek art with an emphasis on sculpture and the iconography of ritual.
Daniela La Chioma Silvestre Villalva, University of São Paulo, Brazil
The Social Roles of Musicians in the Moche World: an Iconographic Analysis of Their Attributes in Middle Moche Period’s Ritual Pottery
The social roles of musicians in the Moche world: an iconographic analysis of their attributes in Middle Moche period’s ritual pottery. The Moche inhabited the north coast of Peru during the Andean Early Intermediate Period (0 - 700 A.D). One of the most distinctive features of Moche ritual pottery is the depiction of highly ranked individuals usually described as priests, warriors, deities and supernatural beings. They are mainly present in Middle Moche Period vessels (100 – 400 A.D) which were probably produced in a context of deep social and political transformation. Supposedly, a time marked by the rise of some of the southern moche valley’s elites. It was precisely during this period that a large amount of musicians, playing a great variety of sound instruments, were recurrently depicted in artifacts such as figurines, whistles, stirrup spout bottles and jars. Interestingly, in many cases, they appear carrying the same power attributes of high status individuals or garments of important supernatural beings. The similarity of the attributes carried by musicians and empowered individuals are easily recognized in the iconography of the ceramic archaeological vessels or in funerary contexts.
Detailed iconographic analysis shows us that the musicians are present in most of the important ritual and political themes of the Moche iconography. They seem to maintain a very close relationship with the protagonists of the visual narratives of the moche world, such as the Presentation Theme, the Bicephalus Arch Theme, The Burial Theme, etc. In this communication we intend to present iconographic data showing musicians who play panpipes, drums and rattles, comparing them to highly ranked characters depicted Moche art, in order to identify the instrument players’ respective social roles in Moche society.
Daniela La Chioma Silvestre Villalva is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Archaeology of the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, University of São Paulo, Brazil. She holds a graduation in History (2007) and a Master’s in Archaeology (2012) in the same University, in the area of Pre-Columbian Studies, namely Andean Art and Archaeology. Her research focuses on iconographic representations of sound, music and its players in Andean Art, emphasizing their social, political and religious roles and the symbolic meaning of the instruments in Andean and Amerindian cosmovisions. One of the iconographic analysis of Nasca musicians turned into a chapter in Stockli & Both’s “Flower World: Music Archaeology of the Americas – Volume II” (2013), published in Berlin. In her PHd research she is currently studying the political-religious roles of musicians in the northern coast of Peru, specifically in the Middle Moche period, based on a databank of more than 800 images of musicians, all depicted in Moche pottery. She has been doing fieldwork in Peruvian archaeological projects and studies of Peruvian Museum’s collections since 2007, as well as participating in Seminars and Conferences in Brazil, Europe and Peru.
Sara Marandola and Donata Sarracino, University of Rome La Sapienza
The Representation of Musicians in the Archaic Architectural Terracottas from Etruria and Central Italy
This paper will consider the representation of musicians in Etruscan architectural terracottas from sacred buildings, and in particular those of Poggio Civitate (Murlo 580 – 575 BCE), Tuscania (Ara del Tufo 560 – 550 BCE and Aquarossa 570-560 BCE), and Tarquinia (560 – 550 BCE), and further comparisons will be made to those of the Rome-Veio-Velletri decorative system. All these architectural terracottas present a similar iconography: a banquet of reclining banqueters entertained by standing musicians and dancers who face those being entertained. These motifs are associated with clay representations of military themes, such as soldiers standing or on horseback, an iconography that finds its origins in Greek and Near Eastern terracottas from the Orientalizing period (720 – 580 BCE). These were widely disseminated in the Mediterranean and found fertile ground in Etruria, which became the main recipient of Greek culture in all its different forms in Italy.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the forms and the loci where these representations appeared in Etruscan culture. Through comparisons with paintings found in the associated necropoleis, the prevalent forms in which the theme was diffused will be shown, along with the role of musicians in Etruscan culture, identifying the continuity and the differences in respect to the Greek models.
Ultimately, this highlights how the representations of musicians were absorbed by Etruscans in the late Orientalizing period and affirmed in the Archaic period. Yet this will also show how the Etruscans, even with their propensity for the imitation of Greek models, unconsciously made changes to the theme of the musician due to their different cultural background.
Sara Marandola graduated in 2006 with a Masters Degree in Classical Archeology at the University La Sapienza in Rome, with a thesis on Survey and Technical Analysis of Ancient Monuments. Since 2007 she has collaborated with the Superintendence for Archeological Heritage of Lazio, as a freelancer, carrying out supervisor activities on preventive archeological sites in Southern Lazio, in the province of Frosinone and Latina. Since 2012 she has also collaborated with the University of Cassino, cataloging and studying their Roman period ceramic material coming from the archeological site of Fabrateria Nova (San Giovanni Incarico – FR), and digitalizing technical notes related to the surrounding territory. In July 2014 she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Architecture, in the field of the Restoration and Conservation of Architectural Heritage, and began her collaboration with the German Archeological Istitute in Rome, concerning the geographical documentation of the Fabrateria Nova excavations.
Donata Sarracino graduated in 2006 from the University La Sapienza in Rome in Archaeology, with a thesis in Etruscology and Italic Antiquities. In 2012 she obtained a Ph.D. in Archaeology, with a specialization in Etruscology at La Sapienza. Currently, she is a researcher at La Sapienza (Department of Classical Studies), and is working on the project Veii, the Power and the Sacred, for the departments of Etruscology and Italic Antiquities. She also collaborates with the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Lazio and the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Rome for the catalogue, inventory, and study of archaeological materials.
Daniele F. Maras, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University, New York
Gods, Men, Turtles. Terracotta Lyre-Players in Etruscan Votive Deposits
This paper discusses terracotta figurines of the Hellenistic period representing lyre-players in southern Etruria, with special regard given to the sacred contexts where they were found. At Caere, lyre-players alone or with accompanying auloi-players are at times represented in connection with scenes of sacrifice and goddesses; in these cases the musicians are presumably to be interpreted as human assistants taking part in a ritual context. It is worth noting that according to the classical literary sources the Etruscans accompanied every such activity with music. In other cases, single figures of lyre-players have been interpreted as representations of Apollo. The variant representing a nude youth holding a lyre in his left hand and a pick in his right is widespread in Veii, Falerii (a seated version appears at Santa Marinella), and a less common type wearing a mantle on his hips and a bulla is known at Caere and Vulci. One might wonder whether these figurines always represent the god, or at times show worshippers as musicians, possibly assimilated to Apollo himself. Moreover, other visual sources show that the lyre was also considered a tool for divination in Etruria, fit for mythological prophets. It is therefore possible that in votive contexts such figurines allude to local divinatory practices. Finally, the paper will briefly address the occurrence of terracotta figurines representing turtles in Etruria, often in connection with cults of Apollo, as at Pyrgi and Veii. Scholars usually consider this animal associated with Greek female deities, and in particular Aphrodite. It is more likely, however, that the dedication of terracotta turtles in Etruria alluded to the myth of the invention of the lyre which involved Apollo and Hermes, considering the finding of turtle-shells among votive offerings in Etruscan tombs and sacred places.
Daniele Federico Maras completed his studies at La Sapienza University in Rome, receiving a Ph.D. in archaeology in 2002. He taught Etruscan and Italic epigraphy in the same university from 2006 to 2010. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Board of Teachers for the Ph.D. in Linguistic History of the Ancient Mediterranean at the University IULM of Milan. He is corresponding member of the Pontificia Accademia Romana di Archeologia, member of the Società Italiana di Storia delle Religioni, and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (2011), a Margo Tytus visiting scholar fellow at the University of Cincinnati (2014), an associate research scholar, Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University (2014-2015), and a Samuel H. Kress lecturer of the Archaeological Institute of America (2015-2016). His main research fields are Etruscan religion, with special regard to sacred inscriptions and mythological representations, the early spread of writing, and the history of Pre-Roman Italy. Apart from a number of articles and contributions in journals and edited volumes, he is author of the volumes Il dono votivo. Gli dei e il sacro nelle iscrizioni etrusche di culto (Pisa-Roma, 2009), and, with Giovanni Colonna, Corpus Inscriptionum Etruscarum, II.1.5 (Pisa-Roma, 2006).
Manolis Mikrakis, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Greece
Musical Performance, Society and Politics in Early First Millennium BC Cyprus: Coroplastic and other Visual Evidence
Cyprus is an Eastern Mediterranean island with a very distinct historical trajectory between insularity and connectivity, self-sufficiency and cosmopolitanism, continuity and change. Towards the end of the second millennium BC, Cyprus seems to have suffered less from the crisis that swept most other regions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, the island retained its centrality in sea-routes and cultural exchange networks, particularly with the West, as well as a high degree of continuity in institutions, economy and religion. Cypriot musical culture also remained prosperous; coroplastic products dating to the Early Iron Age, in particular, provide rare insights into an early horizon of musical activity in a period when other Mediterranean cultures were experiencing a “Dark Age”, or the initial recovery from it.
The present paper provides an overview of Cypro-Geometric and Cypro-Archaic coroplastic (and other) representations of musical performance, exploring the different types of musicians, musical instruments, playing techniques and contexts of music making. A special focus is placed on the continuities and discontinuities from the Bronze Age, the connections to the contemporary East and West, and the intertwining of musical practices with war, the human body and the supernatural. Overall, Cypriot musical practices are placed in the wider context of strategies for the construction of social identities and the legitimation of political authority in the formative period of the historic kingdoms of Cyprus
Manolis Mikrakis is a lecturer in Ancient and Medieval Art at the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens. He has collaborated on archaeological excavations in the Aegean and Cyprus as well as in the development of exhibitions focusing on Aegean interactions with the Eastern Mediterranean. After studying Archaeology, History of Art and Ancient History at the Universities of Athens, Vienna and Cambridge, he received his PhD in Classical Archaeology from the University of Heidelberg in 2006 with a thesis on Bronze Age and Early Iron Age representations of musical instruments in the Aegean and Cyprus. For his research, he received grants from the State of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and the Society of the Friends of Music, Athens. His publications are focused on the late second and early first millennium BC cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, their interactions with Egypt and the Near East, and the role of music and related practices of performance and feasting in these cultures. Manolis has also been active in the field of digital cultural heritage, working for the Directorate of the National Archive of Monuments at the Greek Ministry of Culture and for the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus on the development of information systems for the digitization of antiquities.
Rebecca Miller Ammerman, Colgate University
Tympanon and Syrinx:
A Musical Metaphor within the System of Ritual Practice and Belief at Metaponto
Nestled in an arbor between clusters of grapes hang a tympanon and a syrinx. Beneath this arc of fruit and musical instruments, a female figure and the goat-god Pan prance together over rocky ground. She holds a cornucopia laden with cakes and produce of the earth. He clasps a volute crater of impressive dimension laden, no doubt, with wine. Why did the artisan include the musical instruments in an image that was to be cast in clay, mechanically, over and over again, in order to provide the residents of Metaponto with affordable terracotta reliefs to serve as votive gifts to the deities whose shrines punctuated the urban and rural landscape of this Italiote city-state in late fourth and early third centuries BCE?
In formulating a response to this question, attention focuses first on the possible significance of the musical instruments within the pictorial narrative of the dancing couple represented in the terracotta plaques and then moves on to an examination of the varied contexts of public and private rite where the plaques were employed by the local population. Consideration is given to not only how the reliefs themselves served as instruments in the performance of a ritual act, but also how their imagery may allude to (1) the performance of other rites and (2) associated mythic narratives within the context of the cults where the plaques served a religious purpose. An investigation of the larger system of ritual acts and underlying myths casts penetrating light on the deeper meaning of the tympanon and syrinx at Metaponto and may better illuminate the local artisan’s motives for fashioning the musical instruments in the midst of a grape arbor that shades a mythic dancing floor.
Rebecca Miller Ammerman is Professor of The Classics at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. She took her undergraduate degree in Classical and Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College and completed her PhD at the University of Michigan. She served as an NEH Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 1990-91 and an Elizabeth A. Whitehead Visiting Professor at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens in 2008-09. Her research concerns ritual practice and the archaeology of Magna Graecia with a specific focus on terracotta statuettes and relief plaques. At Paestum, she has published a book on the votive terracottas from the extramural sanctuary at Santa Venera, The Sanctuary of Santa Venera at Paestum II. The Votive Terracottas (Ann Arbor 2002), and has in course of study the vast corpus of votive terracottas from the northern urban sanctuary dedicated to Athena. At Metaponto, her research concerns terracotta figurines and plaques recovered during the field survey and many excavations conducted by the Institute of Classical Archaeology of the University of Texas. Currently, she is preparing publications of the terracottas from the spring sanctuary at Pantanello and the kiln site of San Angelo Vecchio at Metaponto.
Alessandro Pagliara, Tuscia University, Viterbo
The Masks of the Death: Music, Theatre and Burial Customs at Lipara in IV-III cent. BCE
Lipara, on the the largest of the Aeolian islands, settled in c. 580 BCE by colonists from Cyprus and Rhodes, was the last among the Sicilian apoikiai to be founded. Thanks to the work of Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier, who extensively surveyed and excavated the island after World War II, this polis has become one of the most studied among the Western Greek colonies, and one of the most important sites for Mediterranean prehistory and protohistory. In addition to significant examples of figured pottery, important findings from the Liparean necropolis at contrada Diana include miniature clay theatrical masks and statuettes directly inspired by theatrical performances. These are unique in the ancient world for their quantity and quality. Among the burial goods from Lipara, the subject matter of the theatrical votive coroplastic objects can often be identified, and in some cases, especially for the tragic masks, linked to a specific drama. This raises important questions about the nature of the theatrical performances that took place in Lipari in the fourth to third centuries BCE. Furthermore, the excavations by Bernabò Brea and Cavalier near contrada Diana uncovered the remains of a suburban sanctuary, which they tentatively attributed to Demeter and Kore. The votive pits found there revealed a large number of terracottas related to theater, as well as a large quantity of pottery bearing religious subjects. Among these are many thousands of votive pinakes depicting female figures holding or playing both aulos and tympanon. These pinakes, together with the other terracottas and figured pottery with musical subject from Contrada Diana, raise the question of what type of music was performed in the small but thriving Doric colony of Lipara, which, as a firm ally of Syracuse and strategically located for control of the straits of Messina, twice resisted attack by the Athenian fleet during the Peloponnesian War.
Alessandro Pagliara received his qualification as professor of ancient history in 2012. He teaches Roman history at Tuscia University, Viterbo, and history of Sicily and Magna Graecia at the American University of Rome. He is currently working as a research scholar for Sapienza University in Rome on a project involving ancient theater. Having received his degree in Greek history in 1993 from Sapienza, he went on to earn a Ph.D. in ancient history in 2000 from the University of Perugia and another in ancient, medieval, and Renaissance studies in 2012 from the Italian Institute of Human Sciences in Florence. He has collaborated with Luigi Bernabò Brea and the Regional Aeolian Archeological Museum of Lipari (1993-1999), and has been teaching and/or researching at the universities of Macerata (2000-2008), Sydney (2005), Columbia, NYU (2005), Roma Tre (2009-2011), and Turin (2012-2014).
Besides his articles on the ethnography of pre-Roman Italy, Greek colonization in Sicily, ancient musical theory, Christian epigraphy, and rhetoric in Late Antiquity, he has published monographs on the Aeolian Islands in Greek and Roman times (Palermo, 1995), Christian and Late Antique Sicily (Rome, 2006; Macerata, 2009), Renaissance and Humanistic reception of the Emperor Julian’s works (Rome, 2010) and, in particular, his panegyrical orations written as Caesar of Constantius II (Alessandria, 2012). He is currently preparing a commented edition of Julian’s Second Panegyric on Constantius II (or. III Bidez).
Regine Pruzsinszky, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Musicians and Monkeys. Ancient Near Eastern Clay Plaques Displaying Musicians and their Socio-Cultural Role
Considering the importance of music in the Ancient Near East, archaeological and textual remains help to visualize the manifold aspects of musical life in both private and public domains, as well as in the secular and religious-cultural realms. Musicians and singers (Sumerian NAR, Akkadian nâru) were in the service of the palace or temple and played an important role in the oral transmission of literary texts, including epics, hymns, or prayers. This paper will address the wide range of the musicians’ social status including the privileged royal singers as well as the less privileged musicians of temple households and those living at the fringes of society.
Observations made thanks to the rich textual evidence of the ancient Near East from the third to the first millennium BCE will be compared with and linked to the information drawn from the archaeological artifacts themselves. This paper will specifically focus on the numerous ancient Near Eastern clay plaques, some of which show musicians together with animals that have been interpreted as an allegory for unprofitable art. Special emphasis will be given to musicians represented as, and together with, monkeys, a topos with a long literary tradition in Mesopotamia that has provoked a number of modern interpretations. The image of the “poor musician” is also reflected in the cuneiform sources drawn from different literary genres, which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of less privileged musicians and singers. Apart from their functional properties in everyday life, this paper will address more closely the social positions of singers in ancient Near Eastern society including their organization and relationship to other professional groups.
Regine Pruzsinszky (PhD University of Vienna 2000, Habilitation University of Vienna 2008) is Professor in Assyriology at the Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (Germany). Her research interests include the social positions of musicians in the ancient Near East, Mesopotamian chronology, late Bronze Age Syria, and onomastics. She is the author of Die Personennamen der Texte aus Emar (Bethesda, 2003), and Mesopotamian Chronology of the 2nd Millennium BCE, An Introduction to the Textual Evidence and Related Chronological Issues (Wien, 2009). Among other edited books she has edited a volume on Musicians and the Tradition of Literature in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the Vienna-workshop in September 2007 (Wien, 2010) together with Dahlia Shehata.
Arnaud Saura-Ziegelmeyer, Jean Jaurès Laboratory PLH-ERASME, University of Toulouse II – Le Mirail
The Sistrum on Terracottas: Human Instrument or Divine Attribute?
While many Classical terracotta figurines represent musicians playing idiophones, such as crotals or castanets, the presence of the Greco-Roman sistrum seems very specific. It appears in the coroplastical repertoire as an exclusively divine attribute, never played by a human being, unlike other instruments such as the harp or the aulos. However, archeological data (about 200 objects or amulets) has confirmed that the sistrum, derived from a Pharaonic prototype, was a real and audible item used by individuals in Isiac ceremonies during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
It is of interest to note that no word in ancient Greek or Latin refers to a “sistrum player” as a musician. The latter is more often named as a “sistrum holder.” Yet, is this individual a musician, a priest, or a simple devotee? The coroplastic corpus only presents a specific vision of it in the domestic context—a part of Isis’ image—but it is not sufficient to understand the sistrum as a musical instrument in ancient society.
An exploration of other types of sources is clearly necessary to understand the status of the sistrum player and his perception by Greco-Roman society. Without being a musical instrument per se, the sistrum embodies a dimension of sound that exceeds the simple reproduction of the Goddess’s image. According to iconographic and literary sources, the object seems rather to be understood more as a marker of identity than as a normal instrument.
Arnaud Saura-Ziegelmeyer is currently a Ph.D. student in Sciences de l’Antiquité (supervised by Pr. Laurent Bricault) at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, where he has studied history and sociology. He also studied musicology at the Regional Conservatory of Toulouse. His thesis focuses on the Isiac sistrum, an idiophone used in the Greco-Roman world during the ceremonies of Isis, goddess native of Egypt. For this purpose, the typology and organology of this instrument, its meanings, and its ancient and modern interpretations are all taken into account. More generally, his researches focus on ancient music, but also on the links between antiquity and eighteenth to twentieth centuries musical history.
Maria Chidiroglou, National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Terracotta Figurines of Musicians in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
In the National Archaeological Museum in Athens are housed terracotta figurines of musicians from Attica, Euboea, Boeotia and various regions in Greece as well as from the site of ancient Myrina in western Asia Minor, modern Turkey. Examples include Eros figurines with lyres or cymbals, female figurines with harps, kitharas, tambourines and other. They are dated in the late Classical and Hellenistic periods. These figurines can be studied in a number of ways. Their connection to graves or sanctuaries underscores popular religious beliefs and occasionally illustrates stories from myth. Their study also helps us gain insights into the standard types of string, wind and percussion musical instruments used in various regions in these periods, as well as of garment types preferred to by figures of divine or mortal musicians.
In this poster a first presentation of some figurine types found in central Greece and Asia Minor grouped per site contexts and musical instruments will be attempted with the purpose of gaining information on aspects of music as performed and enjoyed by the ancients, especially as part of cultic and communal activities. Excavation and site information will be supplied, where available, to help distinguish types of figurines found in graves, sanctuaries or domestic spaces. A final part of the presentation will focus on aspects of music education in antiquity. This subject is illustrated, among other instances, by a number of terracotta figurine groups of the National Archaeological Museum that were found in graves in Euboea and other Greek sites.
As a whole this presentation aims at a first selective examination of terracotta figurine types of musicians found in central Greece and parts of Asia Minor that are dated from the late 4th to the early 1st century BC.
Maria Chidiroglou was born in Istanbul, Turkey. She is an archaeologist of the Greek Archaeological Service since 1994. She holds a Bachelor’s degree on History and Archaeology from the University of Athens and a Ph.D. degree from the same University. Her Ph.D. thesis “Ancient Karystia in Euboea – A contribution to the history and archaeology of the region from Geometric to Roman Imperial times” is a synopsis of data gathered during salvage excavations and survey work she conducted in southern Euboea in the years from 1994 to 2005, when she worked in the relevant Ephorate of Antiquities. From 2005 to 2010 she worked in the Department of Archaeological Sites, Monuments and Archaeological Research of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in Athens. As of 2010 she works in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
Her main research interests include terracotta figurines, pottery of the Archaic to the Hellenistic period and topographical issues of the ancient cities of Euboea. She has participated (2005-2015) in a number of joint Archaeological Research Programs in Southern Euboea. She has presented papers in Greek, English and French in a number of Archaeological Conferences in Greece and abroad (Italy, France, Turkey and Austria) and published articles in journals and Conference Proceedings on archaeological finds of Euboea, including articles on terracotta figurines in the National Archaeological Museum. She has a daughter named Christina.
Official Museum e-mail: email@example.com
Gioconda Lamagna, “Paolo Orsi” Regional Archaeologica Museum of Siracusa, Italy
Terracottas with Representations of Musicians from Adranon (Siciliy)
Amongst the rich and diversified coroplastic production of Adranon (the ancient city in the Simeto valley founded by Dionysius the Elder from Syracuse, according to the historical tradition), are a number of figurines with representations of musicians dating to between the fourth and the beginning of the third centuries BCE, now housed in the local regional museum. These are statuettes featuring a woman playing the aulos or tympanon, as well as small pinakes with three standing figures, often interpreted as nymphs, also portrayed in the act of playing an instrument. The circumstances of the discovery of a number of these terracottas remain unknown. Their assumed origin from the ancient town of Adranon is likely but not certain.
There is only one pinax coming from a sufficiently documented context. It was part of a votive deposit related to the cult of Demeter and Kore found, between December 1913 and January 1914, in the courtyard of the former Monastery of Jesus and Mary near the main square of the modern town. This pinax is now in the Paolo Orsi Regional Archaeological Museum in Syracuse.
Finally, another related group of terracottas comes from excavations carried out in recent decades in the area of the ancient settlement itself. This set of materials provides the most interesting information towards a proper contextualization of the terracottas as a whole.
This poster is therefore aimed at updating scholarship on the Adranon terracotta corpus, presenting some unpublished samples coming from the excavations of 1995. At the same time, analyzing the known and supposed contexts of discovery, one can establish the possible relationships between this class of terracotta figurines and the cults practiced at ancient Adranon.
Gioconda Lamagna began her career at the Archaeological Superintendency of Salerno, Avellino, and Benevento, dealing with the protection and the investigation of several Samnite centers, including ancient Caudium.After being transferred to the Cultural Heritage Superintendency of Catania, she was in charge of managing the regional museum of Adrano for many years, including its recent, new installation.During her years at the Superintendency of Catania she has also dealt with the protection and the scientific investigation of several sites in the province of Catania, supervising excavation campaigns in the Simeto valley (Greek city of Adranon, archaic indigenous centres of Mendolito, and Civita di Paternt) and in the Caltagirone area (Caltagirone, Monte Balchino, Piano dei Casazzi).She has taken part in various scientific seminars—both at the national and the international level—publishing extensively in scientific journals. She has also participated in multimedia publications, promoting also the realization of the official website for Adrano's regional museum. From 2010 to 2013 she has been director of the “Parco archeologico della Valle del Simeto,” and since the end of 2013 she has been the director of the Regional Archaeological Museum Paolo Orsi at Syracuse.
Lucia Lepore, Università di Firenze
Grotesque, Caricatured and Obscene Features in Greek Clay Sculpture
with Figures of Musicians and Dancers
In the excavation campaigns conducted by the University of Florence at the site of the Achaean colony of Kaulonía, under a collapsed Classic Period house, a terracotta mold was found of a nude, bald, grotesque character with a slender figure, highly emphasized genitalia and a semi-open mouth, with a plectrum in his right hand and a kithara in his left. The subject finds interesting comparison in a few examples, dating between the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., from the Kabirion of Thebes, but also from the Locride, Attica and from other places in Boeotia. These figures, which express a strong magical and propitiatory value, have important links to Hellenistic representations of similar caricatured, grotesque and also obscene features, with a broader and more complex meaning.
-Researcher, now retired, University of Florence.
-Professor of Archeology of Magna Graecia and Methodology of Archeological Research, in the degree programs, the School of Specialization and Doctoral Studies.
-Representative of international agreements for cultural and scientific collaboration.
Collaborates with various institutions, is a member of Italian and foreign associations, has organized exhibits, seminars and conferences, among which most recently the archeological exhibit "Kaulonia, the City of the Amazon Klete", Florence 2013-2014.
Direction and Research in the Field
-Partner and director of the Temporary Association for Objectives created to set in motion a project regarding the archeological area of Locri Epizefiri.
-Scientific Director of the excavation campaigns conducted by the University of Florence in the locality San Marco of Monasterace Marina (Reggio Calabria); at Li Castelli di Manduria (Taranto); Fiesole (Florence); Antella (Bagno a Ripoli, Florence); and in Florence.
-Collaborator in the excavation campaigns conducted by the Archeological Superintendency of Calabria at Crotone, by the Archeological Superintendency of Tuscany at Artimino (Carmignano, Prato), Frascole (Dicomano, Florence), Castellina di Quinto (Sesto Fiorentino, Florence).
Maria Amalia Mastelloni, REolian Regional Archaeological Museum, Lipari
Goddesses, Worshipers, Musicians and Dancers from Lipari and Stromboli
Lipari is known for its rich production of terracotta figurines and vases of the Hellenistic period. The numerous and illuminating studies on this material by Luigi Bernabò Brea and Madeleine Cavalier have formed the basis for additional studies by several authors, who also have added to these studies the finds from Stromboli. As a result, one can now explore more fully the musical iconography presented by these vases and figurines and the role that music and dance seem to have played in daily life and in funerary ritual.
This presentation will consider the classes of musical instruments that are depicted which might relate to the cults of certain gods, such as Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, Kore, Apollo, and Dionysus, and explore certain rites attested by pinakes and by figurines of dancers who also sometimes carry musical instruments. From this, one may relate these objects to the cultural practice of the pre-nuptial kosmesis and to mythological practice of the sacrifices performed by the nynfai/brides and their companions.
This review will also take into account the results of the more recent research that has focused on similar material from Sicily and Magna Graecia, thus presenting the Liparian material in the light of these more recent discussions.
Maria Amalia Mastelloni, Regional Archaeological Museum of Lipari, Italy.
Aura Piccioni, Institute of Classical Archaeology of Regensburg University
Cybele, Dionysus and the Tympanum: the Role of Musician in Ecstasy
A type of clay figurine from Taranto represents a standing woman who holds a tympanum in her hand. This iconography may be interpreted as a female musician, similar to those who, playing the tympanum, the aulos, or the cymbals, took part in the rites honoring the goddess Cybele that were widespread in ancient Italy. According to the myth, it was Dionysus himself who invented this musical instrument, in order to produce ecstasy in those who danced at its rhythm. The tympanum was used along with the cymbals in the cult of the Magna Mater. Important attestations come from the sanctuary of Bitalemi, at Gela, from that of Malophoros, at Selinunte, and from the Palatine. The cult of Cybele was likely present also at Elea. To understand the importance of the tympanum in these rites, the ancient literary sources are helpful, as is Catullus (Carmina docta, 63). It appears that both tympanum and cymbals were instrumental in giving a Dionysian character to these rites. In particular, the Hellenistic clay figurines attest that the words of ancient authors are correct in stating that the tympanum was the “instrument of ecstasy” par excellence.
Aura Piccioni, after the graduation at the University of Roma Tor Vergata (2011), attended an advanced training course at the “Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene”. She is currently undertaking her PhD study at the Institute of Classical Archaeology of Regensburg University, where she is developing a project regarding private cults in homes of archaic and classical times in southern Italy and Etruria (with the title: “Häusliche Kulte in Unteritalien und Etrurien”) under the supervision of her doctoral adviser, Mr. Prof. D. Steuernagel; at the same time, she is research assistant at the chair of Prof. Steuernagel, preparing a catalogue of the archaeological collection owned by the University. She has attended as a speaker conferences held at the Universities of Bonn, Regensburg, Breslau, Rome (Tor Vergata), Sydney, Heidelberg. Some of her essays are at the moment in press.