University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Animal Imagery from Kourion Cyprus

September 26, 2013

I finished up my part in the Digital Kourion project over the summer and to end it I wanted to highlight some of my favorite objects that I photographed from this unique collection.  These photos are now online as part of the Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database (Kourion).

One of the things I found particularly interesting is the various ways that zoomorphic imagery is incorporated into objects.  This includes obvious things like figurines such as this bronze mouse (54-28-5) and this bronze stag (54-28-206) both from the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates at Kourion.group1

But it also includes vessels with animal shapes such as this faience Hedgehog aryballos also from the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates (54-28-6), and this zoomorphic vessel from Kaloriziki, a subsite of Kourion (49-12-665).  Zoomorphic is used to describe ceramics where the shape of the vessel resembles an animal form.



There are also examples with subtle animal imagery, such as this pitcher with eyes to each side of the spout (49-12-803) from Kaloriziki.


Another example is this geometric patterned vessel with a drawing a snake on one side (49-12-859) also from Kaloriziki.


  • I think that another important point in the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates is the mosaic which shows Achilles dressed in female clothes, because he had agreed with hhis mother, Thetis not to follow the othe soldiers in the war. Achilles was afraid of war in the beggining, although he is thought to be the bravest and strongest hero in the Iliad and the Antiquity on the whole.

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