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date: 23 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The marble sculptures of the Cycladic early bronze age (c.3200–2000 bc) are reviewed, with the schematic and the more detailed Plastiras and Louros forms of the Grotta-Pelos culture and the canonical folded-arm type of the Keros-Syros culture (some more than 1 m in height) with its five well-defined varieties (Kapsala, Spedos, Dokathismata, Chalandriani, and Koumasa), and the rare musicians and seated figurines. The possibility of specific workshop styles or subvarieties is discussed (and preferred to the hypothesis of potentially identifiable ‘master’ sculptors). The use of the sculptures in houses, in graves, and in the special deposits at the sanctuary at Keros is discussed. The aesthetic esteem in which the sculptures have been held by collectors since the early twentieth century has given rise to looting, the destruction of archaeological context, and the illicit traffic in Cycladic antiquities.

Keywords: folded-arm figurine, canonical, schematic, Keros, sanctuary, workshop

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