Ancient Greek
Schematic Female Figure, Hybrid Type, 3000-2800 BCE
Early Cycladic I
Greece, Cyclades
5 3/8 × 1 9/16 × 7/16 in. (13.7 × 4 × 1.1 cm)
3-D Object/Sculpture
V 9058

Photo: Paul Hester
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This female figure is a hybrid piece reflecting the transition from Early Cycladic I into Early Cycladic II, occurring sometime between 3000–2800 BCE. Hybrid style refers to any figure that has features of two or more types, often belonging to intermediate periods or reflecting the movement of artisans. Unlike the later canonical types, hybrid pieces are not standardized. For example, this figure shares a similar body shape and incised details with other violin-type figures (an example in the Menil Collection is CA 62053), while drawing on earlier Neolithic traditions. The statue also shows elements known from later Louros figures, including the abstract, triangular shaped head and projections at the shoulders.   

Due to a lack of contemporary written texts and the deficiency of archaeological provenience for the majority of these figures, their exact function is unknown. Examples have been found in funerary, domestic, and votive contexts, suggesting that the figures were multifunctional. Some may have had additional decoration with pigments, now largely lost.