This charming bronze depicts a female of
slender form. The most striking features are the
outstretched arms with disproportionately large
hands, held out in a gesture of supplication. The
slightly bent knees reinforce this attitude of
devotion or subservience to a higher being. The
long hair frames the face in two thick strands.
The facial features include a small grooved
mouth, a long projecting nose and protruding
circular eyes. The figure is dressed in a long
tunic, which is folded diagonally across the
chest. An outer, cape-like garment covers the
head and back.
The Iberians were not a clearly defined cultural
group, rather this is the term adopted by the
ancient Greeks and Romans to refer to those
living in the east and south of the peninsular.
Prior to the Carthaginian and Roman conquests,
their society was organized on a tribal basis.
Extensive trading links were established with
other Mediterranean powers such as the Greeks
and the Phoenicians and these contacts are
believed to have influenced their sculptural
tradition. Small-scale votary figures of this kind
would have been placed in temples or shrines to
seek the favour of the gods.
See Sabatino Moscati's 'The Phoenecians', p. 230 (1988).