Cruciform Figure, 3000-2500 BCE
Chalcolithic I
2 ½ × 1 5/8 × 3/8 in. (6.4 × 4.1 × 1 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
1976-17 DJ

Photo: Paul Hester
Learn More
This schematic representation of a person with a tall neck, square head, outstretched arms, a double line of seven toes, and defined hands facing different directions is known as a cruciform figure for its cross-like design. It dates to the Chalcolithic (“Copper Age”) period on the island of Cyprus (ca. 3000–2500 BCE). Like other examples from Cyprus at this time, including two others in the Menil Collection (1976-17 DJ and CA 6106), it is made out of picrolite (sometimes known as steatite), a type of local stone found in various shades of green. The relatively soft stone was common in southwest Cyprus along the Troodos Mountains and associated riverbeds. While this figure is relatively unusual, similar objects are known and may have been produced around the village of Souskiou. These figures may have been worn on a cord or tucked into clothing as amulets.