Ancient Greek
Standing Female Figure, 6th century BCE
Greece, Boeotia
8 3/8 × 2 7/8 × 2 7/8 in. (21.3 × 7.3 × 7.3 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
CA 6116

Photo: Paul Hester
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Identified as plank figures, board idols (Brettidols), or simply statuettes, female standing figures such as this example were produced in Boeotia in the 6th century BCE. The figures have a small head with a protruding nose combined with a wide, elongated neck, and a flat body that flares at the bottom. They wear a characteristic headdress, combining a crown (polos) with a curling spiral brim, which on this example is a solid disc with painted spiral. Sometimes called “bird-face” figures because of the beak-like nose, the figures have also been known as “Pappades” for the distinctive headdress the figures wear. Typically, the figures are decorated with geometric designs, often including wavy lines and triangles in black slip. This example also features a painted necklace. It is believed that they may represent goddesses because of the dress and headdress. Many have been found as votive offerings, but others have been found in funerary and domestic contexts. Later 6th century BCE Boeotian terracotta figures combine the distinctive wide body with mold-made faces. Boeotia remained an important production center for terracotta figures through the Hellenistic period.