Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Two pieces of different origins

There are days when you're stuck by a sudden feeling that you've seen something before. People would say, normally, that it's just a strange feeling and nothing to think about - there are however days when that feeling is right. Here's one example, compare the two pieces below (notice that I cannot confirm that they actually have anything in common).

This piece, now in Copenhagen, originate from Etruria and simply labelled as "Priest-king? Votive".

Notice the similarity to this piece from the first half of the 6th century BC, at the Cycladic museum in Athens. This one, however, does not originate from Etruria, but Cyprus, where the type is well attested.

Now, what's interesting is was to do with these two pieces. To begin with, are they really related to each other, or is this simply a fluke of history - it is unfortunate that the first piece last provenance and dating, as such information might have been able to give us a lead. Just playing with the thought however, of how the same type of object might end up at two places so far from each other is fascinating.


Björn Nilsson said...

... or two things with a common denominator somewhere? But the origin has not necessarily to be Etruscan or Cypriotic. Could the link be the trade route going from the Levant, via Cyprus and Greece, over to Italy, with one section going northwards to the Etruscan territory? Objects, ideas and artisans followed the route. So the origin of this type of head may be somewhere along this route, or somewhere along one of its other sections. Quite a problem!

Patrik Klingborg said...

Very true, but the type is said to be common at Cyprus (and it's not really something you see every day in Etruria), so I would prefer to argue for a origin in that part of the Mediterranean. On the other hand, ideas tend to spread in strange and unexpected ways.