Lower torso of draped figure

Gozo Group
About This Artefact

I.D. no: 32325

Dimensions: Max. H. 9.3 cm; Max. W. 6 cm; Max. Th. 3 cm.

Material: Very fine-grain white marble

Provenance: Found in 1934 during repair work on the polverista ‘under the Gran Castello’.[1]

Current location: Museum of Archaeology, Gozo

Condition: The figure lacks the upper torso, broken away diagonally from the upper left thigh to the lower right thigh, almost at knee level. The preserved torso is itself formed of two fragments glued together. The whole surface is heavily corroded, probably hiding other breakages, especially on the side of the right leg. A circular hole is beneath the base (apparently modern, probably drilled for display purposes).

Description:  The flat back and base, as well as the disproportionately thin body suggest that the figure might be part of a relief rather than a free-standing statuette. The figure, most probably female, is fully draped, down to the feet, and rests on the right leg while the left knee is slightly flexed, raising the left foot lightly off the ground. An unusual item is the tassel hanging down between the legs.

Discussion: Some similarity in size and rather summary treatment of the drapery is the fragmentary votive relief of Hecate in the Museum of Bucharest.[2]

Difficult to date because of its degraded state, this item is probably Roman, but lacking the deep running drill work characteristic of marble sculpture from the mid-2nd century AD onwards.

Bibliography: (previous publications of item): Bonello 1934: xii: ‘lower portion of a draped female goddess of good workmanship’

[1] Bonello 1934: xii.

[2] Bordenache 1969: 58-59, no 103.