Navigation – Plan du site
Part 2. Transformations of scale

From miniature objects to giant ones: The process of defunctionalisation in sanctuaries and graves in Iron Age Greece

Des miniatures aux objets géants : le processus de défonctionnalisation dans les sanctuaires et les tombes en Grèce à l’Âge du fer
Jean-Marc Luce
p. 53-73

Résumés

Cet article interprète les changements de tailles des objets, les uns devenant gigantesques, les autres miniatures, comme les conséquences du processus de défonctionalisation des offrandes déposées dans les sanctuaires et les tombes. La défonctionalisation est la perte de l’utilité pratique initiale de l’objet. Elle leur donne une nouvelle dimension qui pose des questions d’ordre social (division de la société en classe d’âge et en sexes) et économique (origine de la monnaie, don et contre don).

Haut de page

Texte intégral

Many thanks to Amy Smith, Katerina Volioti, and Marianne Bergeron for their kind invitation to the Reading conference at which I presented this research. Hearty thanks also to James Munnick and the editors who have so patiently corrected my English. The argument here displayed is a part of book in preparation.

1. Introduction

  • 1 Weynants-Ronday, 1926, p. 203; Assmann, 2001, p. 131-39. For the situation in the Near East, which (...)

1In ancient Egypt, offerings were necessary, not only for people hoping to receive benefits for themselves, but also for the gods and the dead, for whom they were destined. Some Egyptian texts clearly show that the ka or spirit of a dead man could be extremely hungry, if he did not receive food from living human beings.1 But what was the matter with the Greek gods? What could the goddess do with pins, vases, or others things given to her? For Sokrates, it was an astonishing question. He asked the priest Euthyphro (Euthyphro 14E):

Sokrates: But tell me, what advantage accrues to the gods from the gifts they get from us? For everybody knows what they give, since we have nothing good which they do not give. But what advantage do they derive from what they get from us? Or have we so much the better of them in our bartering that we get all good from them and they nothing from us?
Euthyphro: Why you don’t suppose, Sokrates, that the gods gain any advantage from what they get from us, do you?
Sokrates: Well then, what would those gifts of ours to the gods be?
Euthyphro: What else than honour and praise, and, as I said before, gratitude?

Sokrates: Φράσον δέ μοι, τίς ἡ ὠφέλεια τοῖς θεοῖς τυγχάνει οὖσα ἀπὸ τῶν δώρων ὧν παρ’ ἡμὦν λαμβάνουσιν? ἃ μὲν γὰρ διδόασι, παντὶ δῆλον/ οὐδὲν γᾶρ ἡμῖν ἐστιν ἀγαθόν, ὅ τι ἂν μὴ ἐκεῖνοι δῶσιν> ἃ δὲ παρ’ἡμῶν λαμβάνουσιν, τί ὠφελοῦνται? ἢ τοσοῦτον αὐτῶν πλεονεκτοῦμεν κατὰ τὴν ἐμπορίαν, ὥστε πάντα τἀγαθὰ παρ’ αὐτῶν λαμβάνομεν, ἐκεῖνοι δὲ παρ’ ἡμῶν οὐδέν?
Euthyphro: Ἀλλ’ οἴει, ὦ Σώκρατες, τοὺς θεοὺς ὠφελεῖσθαι ἀπὸ τούτων, ἃ παρ’ ἡμῶν λαμβανοῦσιν?
Sokrates: Ἀλλὰ τί δήποτ’ ἂν εἴη ταῦτα, ὦ Εὐθύφρον, τὰ παρ’ἡμῶν δῶρα τοῖς θεοῖς?
Euthyphro: Τί δ’οἴει ἄλλο ἢ τιμή τε καὶ γέρα καί, ὅπερ ἐγὼ ἄρτι ἔλεγον, χάρις?

2While the answer to Sokrates’ question is that offerings have no practical function for the god at all, we can go even further: the numerous objects of everyday life that were deposited in sanctuaries lost any practical use from the moment that they were given to the gods. That is what I call defunctionalisation. It is defined as the loss of any practical use for an object.

3Defunctionalisation is a very common practice in European history. Modern art has theorised the process. When, in 1917, Marcel Duchamp offered to display his famous “Fountain”, a common urinal, signed by a Mr. Mutt, in a New York exhibition organised by the Society of Independent Artists, he explained some weeks after, in the review in Blind Man: “Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view—created a new thought for that object”.

  • 2 All dates are BCE unless noted otherwise.

4Compare this incident with the poetic dedications collected in Palatine Anthology of fishermen depositing their tools in sanctuaries of Poseidon. One of them, by Leonidas of Taras (3rd century),2 explains:

Εὐκαπὲς ἄγκιστρον, καὶ δούρατα δουλιχόεντα,
Χὠρμιήν, καὶ τας ἰχθυδόκους σπυρίδας,
Καὶ τοῦτον νηκτοῖσιν ἐπ’ ἰχθύσι τεχνασθέντα
Κύρτον, ἁλιπλάγκτων εὔρεμα δικτυβόλων,
Τρηχύν τε τριόδοντα, Ποσειδαώνιον ἔγχος,
Καὶ τοὺς ἐξ ἀκάτων διχθαδίους ἐρέτας,
ὁ γριπεὺς Διόφαντος ἀνάκτορι θήκατο τέχνας,
ὡς θέμις, ἀρχαίας λείψανα τεχνοσύνας.

Diophantos the fisherman, as is fit, dedicates to the patron of his craft these relics of his old calling, his hook, easily gulped down, his long poles, his line, his creels, this weel, device of sea-faring netsmen for trapping fishes, his sharp trident, weapon of Poseidon, and the two oars of his boat (Greek Anthology 6.4, trans. W.R. Paton).

5Diophantos did not offer his fishing material for the god’s use! Could you imagine Poseidon fishing with old tools from such a poor man? I suggest that the fisherman, in removing any useful significance from his tools, created for them a new thought, as Duchamp says, since they now symbolise the dedicator’s life.

  • 3 For the presentation of the offerings in the temples of Delos on different supports (ribbons, small (...)
  • 4 Huber, 2003.
  • 5 Ibid. p. 146-47.
  • 6 Amandry, 1991, p. 191-226.
  • 7 Blegen, 1952.
  • 8 Felsch, 2007, p. 209-10.

6Defunctionalisation of everyday things is the necessary consequence of depositing objects, but the reverse can be true as well: defunctionalisation allows the transformation of objects in offerings. In Greek sanctuaries, there were several processes of defunctionalisation. The simplest one is depositing itself. The most frequent verb used in dedications is ‘ἀνέθηκεν (puts ἀνα on the top, then consecrated), which suggests that the normal way to consecrate an offering to the god is to hang it on the wall or from the beams of the temple or stoa or treasury.3 The inscription in itself is often sufficient, because it indicates the intention or will to suspend the item, and is currently used even for monuments. These different meanings of defunctionalisation are well documented, but other processes have been observed. The recent publication of the North Area of the sanctuary of Apollo in Eretria provides some examples.4 Offerings can be buried in the soil, either in a horizontal deposit or in a pit dug for that purpose. Sometimes it seems to have been necessary to destroy the offering. In Eretria hundreds of small objects were damaged, probably crushed by people walking over them.5 In Delphi the famous pits discovered by Pierre Amandry contained many objects that were burned in situ, that is, inside the pits themselves.6 Another process is to “kill” the objects. This process is known as much in funerary contexts as in sanctuaries. It consists of deforming the object in such a way as to remove any possibility of usefulness for it. The most famous example is that of the swords that had been bent, probably after heating, before being deposited in a grave (figure 1).7 This operation had a practical purpose as well, since a bent sword can be introduced in the tomb more easily, but defunctionalisation is operating all the same. For example, at Olympia, Kalapodi, and Delphi, offensive and defensive weapons had been intentionally deformed, twisted or folded before being buried. At Kalapodi, some bronze helmets and other protective pieces had even been pierced from inside by a spear butt, an operation that could be undertaken only in the holy place and not on the battlefield.8

7The question of miniature versus giant objects can be interpreted in this framework. Indeed, both reproduce objects at a scale that renders any practical use impossible. Because both play on size, it could be better to deal with them together. Since our starting point is defunctionalisation, we need to distinguish big and small objects from the giant and miniature ones. If big and small things are defined only by size, miniature and giant objects should be thought of as being in relation to the normal-size version adapted to their common use. In this chapter I will focus on the second kind, excluding all objects whose small size does not preclude them from being suitable for use, and all objects such as figurines that had no practical use at all. I will start with a survey of giant and miniature objects, explain the contexts in which they were found, and propose some interpretations in relation to the question of value.

2. The survey of giant and miniature objects

2. 1. Giant objects

  • 9 The evolution of the shape, which lost its use, is described by Rolley, 1977, p. 15-22, Maass, 1978 (...)
  • 10 Maass, 1978, p. 6-7, 136 no. 1. Mycenaean and Protogeometric tripods are still more clearly functio (...)
  • 11 Rolley, 1977, p. 79; Schweizer, 1971.

8Let us begin with the giant objects. The best example is provided by tripods.9 These bronze cauldrons, which were often mentioned in Mycenaean tablets, were luxurious cooking objects. The earliest example found at Olympia, ca. 900, is still a functional object, in spite of its tendency toward the monumental (figure 2).10 It measures 0.65 m in height. Its legs, which are massive, thick, and solid, are well adapted to a practical use. It has no decoration other than motifs imitating rope on its legs and handles. The proportions of tripods change over time. Through the late ninth and eighth centuries, they become much higher, with long legs and bigger handles. The section of the legs changes as well. Instead of being massive, the legs become slimmer. In the eighth century, double-T legs appear. Solidness has been left, decoration is now favoured, since the objects offer more room for decoration (figure 3). The size can be still higher than before and is now completely unsuitable to any practical use. In the second part of the eighth century, some giant examples must have been higher than 2 meters and could exceed 100 kg in weight. As Claude Rolley has pointed out, the loss of usefulness engaged a process in which size and morphology completely changed.11

  • 12 Hood, 1968, p. 214-18.
  • 13 Inv. 4401, cf. Rolley, 1977, no. 50, p. 40; Aurigny, 2009.
  • 14 On the big Boeotian fibulae, see Rolley, 1983, p. 81-82, Coldstream, 1977, p. 204.
  • 15 Paris, Louvre inv. no. Br 1880.
  • 16 Coldstream, 1977, p. 204 and fig. 66c.

9Other objects such as bronze pins and fibulae followed the same development. These fineries were used as garment attachments. The history of pins is related to that of the peplos. The oldest examples in tombs, with a pin on each shoulder of the dead, appeared in the eleventh century.12 Each pin measures between 15 and 40 cm long. In Delphi, however, a massive fragment, 18 cm long, attests an object that should have exceeded 60 cm in length (figure 4).13 Weight and size were not suitable for any practical use. Such objects were probably made for consecration only. The most significant type of fibula is the catch-plate one, which was in use in Boeotia and Thessaly (figure 5).14 A Boeotian example, now in the Louvre, measures 27.5 cm in length.15 These objects were too big to be worn, except on special occasions, but most of them must have been made for consecration in sanctuaries. They frequently bore an elaborate decoration on the plate, as did the crescent Boeotian fibulae, of which some enormous examples could reach the length of 21 cm (figure 6).16

  • 17 Hermann, 1979; Rolley, 1983, p. 70-75.

10Around 700, the tripods tended to be replaced by big cauldrons equipped with griffin protomes and Siren attachments (figure 7).17 These cauldrons were not made for cooking and likely served as mixing vessels for wine. Although they are votive objects, they could be used in some rituals related to symposia organised in sanctuaries. The one dedicated by Colaios to Hera at Samos, according to Herodotos (4.152), had a bowl with griffin heads on a support made of three bronze statues measuring seven elbows, that is, more than three meters in height. Such a huge object could not be used at all.

  • 18 Courbin, 1957; Courbin, 1982.

11Some iron roasting spits, the famous obeloi, have been found in graves and in sanctuaries.18 I do not know of any giant models found in sanctuaries, but Herodotos (2.135) mentions several spits dedicated by the courtesan Rhodopis in Delphi, in the early sixth century, that were long enough to pierce an entire ox.

  • 19 Haussoullier, 1905; Boardman, 1980, p. 108, fig. 125; Meckelmach, Stauber, 2005, no. 421, p. 96; an (...)

12A bronze knucklebone found in Susa in Persia (figure 8)19 bears an inscription that indicates that it stood as a dedication in the sanctuary of Apollo at Didyma before it was looted by Persians. Knucklebones were frequently used as toys, but only a giant could use this one, since it weights 93,070 g and measures 37 cm in length, 21 cm in width, and 23 cm in height, whereas normal knucklebones measure 3 to 7 cm in length.

  • 20 Luce, 2003, p. 60-61.

13The range of giant ceramic vessels is much more limited than that of their bronze counterparts. Big vases such as pithoi or kraters are suitable for their normal practical use, except perhaps the giant kraters and amphorai used in Attika to mark graves in geometric cemeteries: defunctionalisation or maybe refunctionalisation is indicated by the hole pierced in the bottom of some of them. The purpose of this hole is much debated.20

  • 21 Some big knucklebone-shaped vases are attested, such as one decorated by the Sotades Painter (Londo (...)

14I can now make some preliminary observations about the giant objects. Our first remark is that metal is more favoured than clay, and that, among the metals, bronze is the typical material. Gold tripods, such as the one dedicated at Delphi after the Battle of Plataea (Pausanias 10.13.9), are rare. Because the objects are big, a great quantity of metal was used to make them. The second remark is about the range of objects concerned. Tripods, cauldrons, and obeloi were all relevant to cooking. They are also related to sympotic activities. So are grave markers in the geometric cemeteries. The second theme is as accoutrements, particularly those attached to garments. Toys are the third theme, as attested by the Susa knucklebone.21 These themes are limited in comparison with the large range of objects found in Greek sanctuaries and graves. We have no giant weapons, no giant tools, nor any giant furniture. The third remark concerns the morphological transformation of the objects, when they become bigger. While enlargement didn’t affect the shape of the pins, it did significantly affect that of tripods and fibulae. In both cases, the shape of the giant examples developed in a way that made the objects more suitable for decoration than for practical use.

2. 2. Miniature objects

  • 22 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 309.
  • 23 Huber, 2003, p. 72-73.
  • 24 Huber, 2003, no. O 25.
  • 25 Prêtre, 1997b, p. 679.

15Miniature objects are, in some respects, the mirror image of the giant ones. They are involved in the same process of defunctionalisation. As Jack L. Benson pointed out: “The term ‘miniature’ is itself perhaps somewhat arbitrary, since the true criterion for the class of vessels which it represents is logically not so much a precise conception of quantitative limits as whether or not the vase was produced for practical use: in other words, whether as a content-holding vase or merely as a representation in reduced format of that shape, to serve as a token”.22 But I can go further: not only did miniature objects follow the same process of defunctionalisation as the giant ones, but some of them reproduce the same models. The sanctuaries of Delphi, Olympia, Eretria, and Samos have produced some miniature tripods.23 Most of them are Archaic or Classical, but some of them are Geometric. The one discovered in the sanctuary of Apollo Daphnephorion in Eretria is only 4 cm in height, but is damaged (figure 9). It would have been 8 cm in height originally. It bears a typical late geometric decoration on the handle.24 Delian inventories frequently mention miniature Delphian tripods, τριποδίσκος Δελφικός.25

  • 26 Ekroth, 2003.
  • 27 Vokotopoulou, 1985, nos. 125, 180, 228, 278, where obeloi are set on firedogs, and 298. Cf no. 125 (...)

16As far as the cauldrons are concerned, miniature versions in ceramic have been found in several places in the Argolid (figure 10). As Gunnel Ekroth has pointed out, they reproduced the bronze prototype, but with some small differences.26 The examples from the Argive Heraion have bull’s head protomes. Elsewhere, while griffin heads are more frequent, bull’s heads are also well attested. Miniature obeloi occur in the graves of Sindos in Macedonia, at the end of the sixth century (figure 12). They are packed in groups of six or seven, as expected.27

  • 28 Voyatzis, 1990, p. 198-200.
  • 29 Prêtre, 1997b, p. 675.
  • 30 Felsch, 2007, no. 1991.
  • 31 Voyatzis, 1990, 200 (miniature swords), 194 (axes).

17Miniature objects, however, are not only the mirror images of the giant ones, but have their own specificity. Giant weapons are not documented, as far as I know, but miniature versions are frequent, mostly shields and axes. Mary Voyatzis has collected 22 miniature reproductions of the so-called Dipylon shield, most of them in Arkadian sanctuaries, but one in Olympia and another in the Dipylon Cemetery at Athens (figure 11). They are oval in shape and with two cut out circles on each side. What prototype did they reproduce? Some scholars support the idea that there was no prototype at all, but that this was just an iconographical survival of the Mycenaean “figure-of-eight” shield.28 Since the technical structure of the shield seems properly represented in some images, however, I prefer to accept the traditional view, that the miniature objects imitate real weapons. In any case, there is no doubt about the miniature round shields, usually in bronze, of which there are also some examples in gold. The Delian inventories often mention miniature shields made of metal or of wood.29 Helmets are not frequent, but one example, from a context dated to the second quarter of the sixth century, has been found in Kalapodi.30 Offensive weapons are rare, but some miniature swords have been found in Arkadia and in Sparta. Axes have been found in several sanctuaries, in Arkadia and other regions. They are usually double axes.31

  • 32 Vokotopoulou, 1985.

18At the end of the sixth century some unusual miniature objects were deposited in some graves in the cemetery of Sindos in Macedonia.32 Here the material necessary for a symposion has been found. Obeloi are represented, as noted above, but there are also firedogs, often as supports for obeloi (figure 12), and furniture, including tables and chairs (figure 13). In many sanctuaries, miniature vessels in bronze have been found, used sometimes as pendants. In the Kirrha sanctuary in the Delphic sacred territory, one miniature bronze jug was discovered, alongside many others of terracotta.

  • 33 Jacquemin, 1984.
  • 34 Pemberton, 1989, p. 20.

19Scholars working on miniature objects often forget that metallic objects are so well attested, but it is true that the most of the material they are dealing with is ceramic. Several sanctuaries have given thousands of miniature ceramic vessels representing a large range of shapes. The most usual forms are skyphoi and hydriai, but many other shapes are attested as well. The range of shapes changes from one sanctuary to another. For example, in the Korykian Cave, among the 9076 miniature vessels, skyphoi dominated from the end of the sixth century onwards (94.2%), as at Kirrha (figure 14). But many other shapes, such as lekythoi and oinochoai, occur in small proportion.33 In Eretria and at the Argive Heraion, hydriai dominated, while at Corinth, in the sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, the most popular shapes were kalathiskoi and phialai.34 Miniature vases appeared from the early Iron Age onwards, but were not mass-produced, until the late Archaic period, where most of them were destined for sanctuaries.

  • 35 Hammond, 2005, p. 420-21.
  • 36 Huber, 2003, p. 48.
  • 37 Ibid.

20The process of defunctionalisation could perhaps be reconstructed for miniature vessels as it was for giant objects, comparing their development in Tegea and in Eretria. Leslie Hammond, who has studied the examples found in Tegea and in all of Arkadia, has identified a first stage, in which the objects, locally produced with a handmade technique, were not small versions of normal vases. She suggests that they “were probably containers for offerings dedicated at the site, rather than functioning as dedications themselves”.35 But in the second stage, Geometric in date, and still more clearly in the third, in the Archaic-Classical period, the range of shapes changed, including new shapes that “reflect the ‘normal’ ceramic shapes more closely”. They could have been offerings made for themselves, as offerings, and no longer as containers. In Eretria, the miniature hydriai of the late Geometric and Sub-geometric periods measure 15-20 cm in height, instead of 35-50 cm for the normally sized examples.36 A practical use is not probable, but still possible at this stage. In the Archaic period, however, Sandrine Huber observed that the size diminished significantly.37 In both cases the process of defunctionalisation seems to have been progressive. In any case, mass production of miniature vessels began in the Archaic period.

21As a result, the process of defunctionalisation is in some way parallel for miniature and giant objects, but without synchronisation. At the end of the process, both tend to become a mere image. For giant objects, the process was engaged first in sanctuaries, from the end of the ninth century onwards. For miniature vessels, although they appeared from the Submycenean period or earlier in tombs, mass production for sanctuaries started up only in the late seventh or early sixth century in many places.

22In both cases, the favourite themes are those related to symposion, since we have tripods, cauldrons, obeloi, furniture, and vessels. There is a larger range of objects among miniatures. Other themes unrepresented among giant ones, which have no connection with the symposion, occur among miniature objects, such as weapons and hydriai or kalathiskoi. On the other hand, miniature accoutrements seem to be rare or absent. So the themes of the two categories overlap, but do not coincide. In order to better understand these strange objects, I will now focus on the contexts in which they occur.

3. The contexts

  • 38 Onasoglou, 1995.
  • 39 For Attika and Cos, see Rolley, 1977, p. 107-13; for Eleusis see Skias, 1898; for Knossos, see Catl (...)
  • 40 Rolley, 1977, p. 126-29.

23The study of contexts gives us a good opportunity to compare both categories. Giant and miniature objects occur in sanctuaries and in graves, but not or rarely in settlements. While giant objects in funerary contexts are rare in Greece, miniature vessels are frequent in Greek tombs and sanctuaries. In fact, only one tripod has been found in a Bronze Age grave (dated at LHIIIC) in Mycenae.38 Other examples have been found in different graves in Attika, Kos, and Knossos, but they all were full-sized ceramic imitations.39 Some cauldrons were found in graves, e.g. the Pnyx tomb in Athens, or Salamis in Cyprus (figure 7), at Sellada (Thera) and elsewhere,40 but they are exceptions. For the most part, they come from sanctuaries. A closer examination seems necessary.

3. 1. Sanctuaries

  • 41 Demangel, 1926, Lerat, 1957.

24Delphi and its chora provide an excellent example of the process of defunctionalisation in sanctuaries. Giant objects are frequent in the sanctuaries of Apollo and Athena from 800 onwards. It is difficult to specify the associations in their geometric contexts, because the geometric offerings frequently have not been found in geometric contexts, but rather in much later layers. That is particularly true for Delphi’s Apollo sanctuary, which developed on a settlement. In the Athena sanctuary, where geometric layers were found by Robert Demangel and Lucien Lerat,41 some ceramic vessels were discovered, particularly geometric goblets, associated with an impressive quantity of offerings dating from the Mycenaean period, but deposited in the eighth century. In the seventh and sixth centuries, more evidence is available, since layers related to the sanctuary’s activity have been excavated recently. While they contained some precious objects in bronze, gold, or ivory, pottery is extremely abundant there. Weapons and obeloi were found, but no giant objects. This suggests that they were not stored and treated as the other objects. A few miniature vessels have been found with some terracotta figurines in a context dated in the third quarter of the sixth century (figure 15).

25As you can see, while the few giant objects at Delphi are only the most salient offerings, small objects, particularly vases, are much more numerous. Miniature vessels are until now rare, but attested. At the other sanctuaries in the double chora of Delphi, i.e. The Korykian Cave, which is a cave in the mountain consecrated to Pan and the Nymphs, and Kirrha, on the sea, the port of Delphi, the picture is reversed. Several thousands of miniature vessels were found at these sites, but no giant bronze objects.

  • 42 Poplin, 1984, p. 381-93.
  • 43 Amandry (ed.), 1984, p. 265, fig. 5.

26The associations of objects are worth noting. In Kirrha as in the Korykian Cave, thousands of figurines were found, but only a few metal objects, so that miniature vessels appear there as companions to figurines. In Kirrha, notice a miniature bronze jug alongside many others made of ceramic. In Delphi, terracotta figurines do occur, but infrequently, whereas bronze figurines are more abundant. The Korykian Cave and Kirrha sanctuaries are comparable in many respects, but the Korykian Cave can be distinguished by the impressive discovery of more than 20,000 knucklebones.42 The so-called “temple boys”, which are just representations of male children, were found in Kirrha as well as in the Korykian Cave (figure 16). They are not so numerous, but worth mentioning, particularly because, in the Korykian Cave, one of them is made of bronze (figure 15).43

27Even if miniature vessels are well attested in the ancient Iron Age sanctuaries, their popularity at sanctuaries seems to be a relatively late phenomenon, datable, in these two sanctuaries, as in Delphi, to the second half of the sixth century, but attested earlier at Eretria. In Eretria, mass dedication of hydriai begins in the second half of the eighth century, but Huber has observed that their size was diminishing during the Archaic period.

3. 2. Tombs

  • 44 Luce, Forthcoming.
  • 45 Edlund-Berry, 2001.

28As far as funerary contexts are concerned, miniature vessels appeared in graves from the Iron Age onwards. A survey of a large part of the ancient Iron Age tombs discovered in Greece clearly shows that they appear mostly in children’s tombs.44 The same has been observed in Morgantina, where so many miniature vessels were found, in graves as in sanctuaries, but from the late Archaic period.45

4. Gender and Ages

  • 46 Amandry, Caskey, 1952, p. 211 n. 52.
  • 47 Ekroth, 2003.
  • 48 For the relation of figurines and female protomes to the dedicator’s age and gender, see the stimul (...)

29The association of objects in sanctuaries and tombs begs the question as to whether offerings can be interpreted in relation to the age and gender of worshippers or of deities. Giant objects are usually, but not always, male offerings and were given, as a rule, by adults. On the other hand, links to childhood seem to have existed for miniature ceramic vessels, but not for those made of metal. Miniature ceramic vessels occur for the most part in children’s graves and, since they are associated with knucklebones and some figurines of children in the Korykian Cave, they seem to be firmly related to childhood. This suggestion has already been made by Amandry and John L. Caskey for the Argive Heraion.46 But the relationship is not that they were all toys. Indeed, some of them were probably toys, but how did this kind of object circulate in the Greek world? Gunnel Ekroth has already observed that miniature vessels were not always produced in the area where they were found but could have been imported.47 In the case of the Delphic Chora, almost all miniature vessels of the sixth and fifth centuries were made in Corinth. The fact that most, but not all, of the figurines came from the same city too suggests that miniature vessels and figurines were sold together in the same places at Delphi and Kirrha, probably near the sanctuaries. In such conditions, these objects could not have been the toys of children who deposited them. Neither does it mean that they had no connection with childhood. Indeed, a significant proportion of them could have been consecrated by children, after having been bought in situ (by their mothers?), or were offered to the deity by their parents, in order to receive favours for their offspring in return, or by young people so as to mark their transition from childhood, before marriage, for example.48 The circumstances in which these objects were offered could change their meaning. We should also be conscious that the meaning can be fickle, changing from place to place, and that a relationship to childhood may exist in one place and not in another. In any case, connections to childhood concern the miniature ceramic vessels only, since metallic objects were discovered in adult graves in Sindos. As with the giant objects, metallic miniatures were probably dedications made by adults.

  • 49 Amandry, Caskey, 1952, p. 211.
  • 50 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 310.
  • 51 Amandry, 1984.
  • 52 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 337.

30Since mainly female figurines were associated with miniature vessels, perhaps they could have a gender connotation. Indeed, since female figurines were usually deposited in sanctuaries devoted to female deities, the question is whether a connection between childhood and female gender could have existed. Hydriai are often interpreted as offerings for a female deity or as objects given by women or girls to the deity of any gender, or both.49 If hydriai were female offerings, should the skyphoi have been male? That is a possibility. But skyphoi are firmly associated with female figurines in Kirrha and the Korykian Cave, as they are in the Aphrodite Deposit in Corinth.50 In the Korykian Cave they dominate whereas, according to Amandry, the worship of the Nymphs was more important than that of Pan and established before his cult.51 As can be seen, the relationship of offerings to gods is not always clear. The picture becomes clearer if we distinguish sanctuaries where miniature vessels were imported from those where they were produced in situ. Where they were imported or made by professionals working for many sanctuaries, the relationship to the deity could have been weakened or lost, while the relationship to the worshipper could be more significant. In the small sacred deposits of the Potters’ Quarter at Corinth, the kalathiskos (miniature kalathos) is the most popular shape,52 probably because huge quantities of them were produced in order to supply another more important sanctuary, that of Demeter and Kore. On the other hand, where miniature vessels are manufactured specifically for one sanctuary, the shapes could have been adapted to the deity, as is the case in the north part of the Apollo sanctuary at Eretria.

  • 53 Jouve, Luce.
  • 54 Amandry, Caskey 1952, p. 165-67 (Argive Heraion), Luce, 1992, p. 267 (Kirrha), BCH, 15 (1891), p. 9 (...)
  • 55 See the example of Tegea: Jouve, Luce.

31It has become clear that the range of offerings changes significantly from one sanctuary to the other, but gender and age are not the only factors involved. This change is a part of a system, that is, the change is done in relation to other sanctuaries in the region. For understanding this pattern, the opposition between cheap miniature vessels and giant expansive objects could give us one of the keys. The first ones, which were the usual offerings in some sanctuaries, were only considered acceptable in others. On the other hand, the presence of giant offerings conformed to the norm in certain sanctuaries, such as Delphi or Olympia. What distinguishes them and justifies this difference? Why bronze tripods considered normal in Odysseus’ cave at Ithaca, while they were absent from the others? Giant objects need to be exhibited in the more salient places. The difference is visible in the find contexts. Tripods and cauldrons were made to be displayed in the sanctuary, but not the miniature vessels, which would have been stored somewhere before being thrown away on the ground in the courtyard. As can be seen on the plan of offerings found at Tegea in the sanctuary of Athena Alea, the distribution of objects is grouped in such a way as to suggest that they were thrown away several times, after having been mixed with other small objects.53 Similar observations have been made at the Argive Heraion, Korkyra, Kirrha, Korykian Cave, Olympia, and many others sanctuaries.54 As a rule, the offerings were spread on the surface or included in filling layers, in what can be called horizontal deposits.55 In a limited number of cases, the gifts were buried in pits specifically dug for that purpose. This difference in the treatment of cauldrons and small offerings can be explained by the value attributed to the objects. This answer may seem simple, but value, which is not a self-evident concept, is a notion that needs more examination.

5. Defunctionalisation and value

  • 56 The theory of value is displayed in the first capital of On the Principles of Political Economy and (...)

32As can be seen, defunctionalisation opens the way to two processes, which are related but quite distinct. The first leads to the enlargement of the pieces, the other to their reducton. I observed that enlargement led to the use of a large quantity of metal, so that all of these objects had a high value. Perhaps we could have a better understanding of what happened if we try to grasp the economic implication of it. The first book of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital may be of help. The philosopher, after Adam Smith and David Ricardo,56 distinguished “use value” from “exchange value”. The use value is the value of an object in as far as it has some utility. This value depends on the material from which it is made of and its shape, which should be suited to its use. For Marx this value is very stable, and this aspect of his theory has been rightly criticised, although use value remains a valuable concept. Exchange value, which is more unstable, is the value of an object when it is exchanged for another. The price of an item thus depends on the fact that it has use value, which changes significantly, in the opinion of Ricardo and Marx, in relation to the time necessary for its manufacture. But this labour time is not that of an individual worker manufacturing an individual object, but the average time used for producing items of the same type in society. The separation between the two kinds of value led to the invention of coins, which represents the exchange value in itself.

  • 57 Rolley, 1977, p. 26-30.
  • 58 For example, Ruzé, van Effenterre, 1994, no. 12, 1-17.
  • 59 Hitzl, 1996, p. 151-53. The inscription says: These beautiful objects (Tade tagalmata), the produce (...)

33When defunctionalisation happens, use value is always lost. For some objects, such as weapons, it can be recovered, but not in the case of giant objects. On the other hand, exchange value remains. That is exactly what Sokrates indicated when he described the giving of offerings as an exchange, an emporia, with the gods. In the case of giant objects, because they are made of large quantities of metal, their exchange value was high. That the first meaning is just to be an exchange value is apparent from the circumstances in which they are offered. They could be seen as the dekatè, the tithe, a tribute to the god. Tripods and cauldrons are often prizes won in a game, as is indicated from the inscriptions written on some of them.57 What is won is an object of value, to chresma. A system that leads to removing all use value from an object is not an insignificant fact. It directly leads to the premonetary system. Among giant objects, tripods, cauldrons, and obeloi were all used as references for defining fines in the Archaic period, particularly in Crete.58 Obeloi, as is well known, are the origin of oboloi, the common coin in Greece, and drachma is nothing more than a handful of six obeloi. As far as the Susa knucklebone is concerned (figure 8), it was in fact a weight similar by its form to those found at Olympia, but much bigger. As observed by Konrad Hitzl, its 93070 g are the exact equivalent of 220 Milesian mines, i.e. 3 2/3 talents. This object is not only an expensive thing, but an enormous value, offered as a tithe, from harvest, if the inscription has been correctly understood.59

  • 60 There are many examples from the Athenian Acropolis in Harris, 1995.

34The first meaning of the giant object is clearly its high value, that is, its pure exchange value. A first step towards answering Sokrates’ question—“what advantage do they derive from what they get from us”—is to understand that what is given is not the practical object, not the use value, but the exchange value, because that relationship with the god is a kind of exchange. Two observations should be made, however, regarding this point. The dedications written on the offerings indicate the importance given by the Greeks to the memory of the dedicator, which should be kept as long as possible. This feature is not relevant to the exchange value, which is often anonymous. There are many examples of offerings that are melted down, however, in order to produce coins.60 In such cases, any memory of the dedicator is forgotten and offerings are transformed from gifts into goods.

35My second observation concerns the relation between defunctionalisation and aesthetics. I have already noted that the bigger the giant objects were, the more room there was for decoration. In fact, decoration was their most salient feature at the end of their development. During the eighth century, tripod legs gained in decoration what they lost in solidity. The figurines that now adorned the handles occupy a significant part of the History of Greek art. In some respects, aesthetics seem to replace usefulness. Many art historians, following Johann J. Winckelmann (History of the Art of Antiquity, 1764) and Gotthold E. Lessing (Laocoön, 1766), put disinterestedness at the origin of art, distinguishing art made for magic purposes from real art, made for itself. I hesitate to speak on disinterestedness, since the relationship to the god seems to have been so commercial and so intermingled with the premonetary system, but I would put forward that defunctionalisation was a significant step.

  • 61 Mauss, 2002, p. 59.

36The situation with miniature objects is quite different. Miniature metal objects had a certain exchange value as well, particularly the gold examples. The shields found at Tegea and on other sites in Arkadia bear decorations that the original, probably made of leather and wood, could not have had. For the miniature ceramic vessels, since their exchange value was so low, the picture was probably not the same. But they were as much offerings as other objects, and as such, they occupied a place in the emporia, as Sokrates says, for bartering and trading with the gods. Indeed, some of them, such as the tripods found in the Argolid, were not objects of value, but were images of value. The problem is whether images can be thought of as equivalent to the model. Since large offerings and catalogues of dedications made by the priest greatly emphasize the exchange value of offerings, such a link seems improbable. As Ekroth argues, miniature offerings were not simply a substitute for more expensive offerings by poor people. The dedication act in itself supposes that the deity gives a value to the good that he or she receives. What is this kind of value, since it appears so different from exchange and use values? Perhaps some light could be thrown upon this problem by resorting to the other face of the theory of value, i.e. the theory of gift as formulated by Marcel Mauss. Indeed, offerings are always gifts to the deity. The question is what is circulating in the gift exchange? Mauss said: “If one gives things and returns them, it is because one is giving and returning ‘respects’- we still say ‘courtesies’. Yet it is also because by giving one is giving oneself, and if one gives oneself, it is because one ‘owes’ oneself—one’s person and one’s goods—to others”.61 It means that what is circulating in the gift is the self of the dedicator. So, keeping the memory of who is giving is, in this system, crucial. But in what Mauss called “purely individual contract” this memory loses its importance. Whereas the exchange value of an expensive object does not suffer alteration, if the memory of the dedicator is lost, the offerings like miniature vessels, as offerings, die, from the moment this memory is lost. They can be thrown away as garbage in the fill of the sanctuary court (but not excluded from the sanctuary, because they are still the deity’s property).

37As can be seen, miniature and giant offerings reflected two different attitudes to value, the first being the traditional system of gift as gift of oneself, the second, not completely cut from the first one, dealing with value as an abstract, purely economic notion. Both concepts are connected in the system of offerings.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Amandry, P. (ed.), 1984, L’antre corycien II, BCH Suppl., 9, p. 27-155.

Amandry, P., 1984, Le culte de Pan et des Nymphes à l’Antre corycien, in Amandry (ed.), p. 395-425.

Amandry, P., 1991, in Guide de Delphes. Le musée, Paris, p. 191-226.

Amandry, P. and J.L. Caskey, 1952, Investigations at the Heraion of Argos, 1949, Hesperia, 21, p. 165-221.

Assmann, J., 2001, Tod und Jenseits im Alten Ägypten. Munich.

Aurigny, H., 2009, Delphes au VIIe s. av. J.C. Recherches sur les offrandes et la fréquentation du sanctuaire. Unpublished PhD thesis, Paris.

Blegen, C.W., 1952, Two Athenian Grave Groups of about 900 B.C., Hesperia, 21, p. 279-94.

Boardmann, J., 1980, The Greeks overseas: Their early colonies and trade, New York.

Catling (ed.), 1996, Knossos North Cemetery, BSA Suppl., 28.

Coldstream, J.N., 1977, Geometric Greece. London.

Courbin, P., 1957, Dans la Grèce archaïque. Valeur comparée du Fer et de l’Argent lors de l’introduction du monnayage, Annales (HSS), p. 322-66.

Courbin, P., 1982, Obeloi d’Argolide et d’ailleurs, in R. Hägg (ed.), The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth century B.C.: Tradition and Innovation, Proceedings of the Second International Symposium at the Swedish Institute in Athens, 1-5 June, 1981, Stockholm, p. 149-56.

Demangel, R., 1926, Le Sanctuaire d’Athéna Pronaia. La topographie du sanctuaire, Fouilles de Delphes II, Paris.

Edlund-Berry, I.E., 2001, Miniature vases as votive gifts evidence from the central sanctuary at Morgantina (Sicily), in C. Scheffer, Ceramics in context. Proceedings of the Internordic Colloquium on Ancient Pottery held at Stockholm, 13-15 June, 1997, Stockholm.

Ekroth, G., 2003, Small pots, poor people? The use and function of miniature pottery as votive offerings in archaic sanctuaries in the Argolid and the Corinthia, in B. Schmaltz and M. Söldner (eds.), Griechische Keramik im kulturellen Kontext: Akten des Internationalen Vasen-Symposions in Kiel vom 24. bis 28.9.2001, veranstaltet durch das Archäologische Institut der Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Münster, p. 35-37.

Felsch, R., 2007, Kalapodi II. Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen im Heiligtum der Artemis und des Apollon von Hyampolis in der antiken Phokis II, Mainz am Rhein.

Fiske, A.M., 1969, Death: Myth and Ritual, in Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 37, p. 254-58.

Hammond, L., 2005, Arkadian Miniature Pottery, in E. Ostby (ed.), Ancient Arkadia. Papers from the third international seminar on Ancient Arkadia, held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens, 7-10 May 2002, Athens, p. 415-27.

Hampe, R. and Simon, E., 1980, Un millénaire d’art grec, Fribourg.

Harris, D., 1995, The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion, Oxford.

Haussoullier, B., 1905, Offrande à Apollon didyméen, in J. de Morgan et al., Délégation en Perse. Mémoires VII. Recherches archéologiques, Paris.

Hermann, H.-V., 1979, Die Kessel der orientalisierenden Zeit, II. Kesselprotomen und Stabdreifüsse. Olympische Forschungen, 11.

Himmelmann, N., 1978-1980, Ostgriechische Thronfiguren, Anadolu, 21, p. 175-81.

Hitzl, K., 1996, Die Gewichte griechischer Zeit aus Olympia. Olympische Forschungen, 25.

Hood, S., 1968, A late Minoan Tomb at Ayios Ioannis near Knossos, BSA, 63, p. 214-18.

Huber, S., 2003, L‘aire sacrificielle au nord du sanctuaire d‘Apollon Daphnéphoros 14, Montreux.

Jacquemin, A., 1984, Céramique des époques archaïque, classique et hellénistique, in Amandry (ed.), p. 27-175.

Jouve, B. and Luce, J.-M., La repartition des offrandes au sol dans le secteur nord du Sanctuaire d’Athèna Alea à Tegee, http://w3.grimm.univ-tlse2.fr/smash/jouve/papier/ tegee.pdf.

Lerat, L., 1957, Région à l’Est du sanctuaire and Marmaria, BCH, 81, p. 707-10.

Luce, J.-M., 1992, Les terres cuites de Kirrha, in J.-F. Bommelaer (ed.), Delphes. Centenaire de la “Grande fouille” réalisée par l‘Ecole française d‘Athènes (1892-1992). Actes du Colloque Paul Perdrizet. Strasbourg, 6-9 novembre 1991, p. 263-75.

Luce, J.-M., 2003, Le banquet, la mort et l‘amour de l‘époque géométrique à l‘époque classique, in J.-Cl. Carrière and Ch. Orfanos (eds.), Symposium. Banquet et représentations en Grèce et à Rome (7-9 mars 2002), Pallas, 61, p. 55-69.

Luce, J.-M., Forthcoming, Essai de cartographie funéraire du monde grec (1100-700 av. J.-C.). Modes funéraires et identités ethniques, Nancy.

Maass, M., 1978, Die geometrischen Dreifüsse von Olympia. Olympische Forschungen, 10, Berlin.

Mallwitz, A., 1972, Olympia und seine Bauten, Munich.

Mauss, M., 2002, The gift. The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies (trans. W.D. Halls), London.

Meckelmach, R. and Stauber, J., 2005, Jenseits des Euphrat. Griechische Inschriften. Ein epigraphisches Lesebuch, Munich and Leipzig.

Muller, A., 2009, Le tout ou la partie. Encore les protomés: dédicataires ou dédicantes ?, in Cl. Prêtre (ed.), Le donateur, l‘offrande et la déesse. Systèmes votifs dans les sanctuaires de déesses du monde grec. Actes du 31e colloque international organisé par l‘UMR Halma-Ipel (Université charls-de-Gaulle/Lille 3, 13-15 décembre 2007, Kernos Suppl., 23, p. 81-95.

Onasoglou, A., 1995, Η οικία του τάφου των τριπόδων στις Μυκήνες. Βιβλιοθήκη της εν Αθήναις Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρίας, 147, Athens.

Pemberton, E.G., 1989, The sanctuary of Demeter and Kore. The Greek Pottery. Corinth, 18.1, Princeton.

Poplin, F., 1984, Contribution ostéo-archéologique à la connaissance des astragales de l‘Antre corycien, in Amandry (ed.), p. 381-93.

Prêtre, Cl., 1997a, Le matériel votif à Délos: exposition et conservation, in XI Congresso Internazionale di Epigrafia Greca e Latina. Roma, 18-24 settembre, 1997, Rome, p. 281-87.

Prêtre, Cl., 1997b, Imitation et miniature. Étude de quelques suffixes dans le vocabulaire délien de la parure, BCH, 121, p. 673-80.

Rolley, Cl., 1977, Les trépieds à cuve clouée, Fouilles de Delphes, V3, Paris.

Rolley, Cl., 1983, Les bronzes grecs, Fribourg.

Ruzé, Fr. and van Effenterre, H., 1994, Nomima. Recueil d‘inscriptions politiques et juridiques de l‘archaïsme grec, I, Paris.

Schweizer, B., 1971, Greek Geometric Art, London, English translation of Die Geometrische Kunst Griechenlands, Cologne (1969).

Skias, A.N., 1898, Παναρχαία ἐλευσινιακὴ νεκροπόλις, AE, col. 29-122.

Stillwell, A.N., Benson, J.L., Boegehold, A.L. and Boulter, C.G., 1984, The Potters‘ Quarter. The Pottery, Corinth, 15.3, Princeton.

Vokotopoulou, J., Despoini, A., Misanlidou, B. and Tiverios, M., 1985, Σίνδος κατάλογος της έκθεσης, Athens.

Voyatzis, M., 1990, The early sanctuary of Athena Alea at Tegea and other archaic sanctuaries in Arkadia. Studies in Mediterranean archaeology and literaturePocket-book, 97, Göteborg.

Weynants-Ronday, M.-C., 1926, Les statues vivantes. Introduction à l‘étude des statues égyptiennes, Brussels.

Haut de page

Annexe

Figure 1. Tomb of the Areopagus Warrior, ca. 900, after Blegen, 1954.

Figure 1. Tomb of the Areopagus Warrior, ca. 900, after Blegen, 1954.

Figure 2. Bronze tripod from Olympia, ca. 900. Olympia Museum, inv. B1240.

Figure 2. Bronze tripod from Olympia, ca. 900. Olympia Museum, inv. B1240.

Photo H. Wagner (DAI no. Olympia 1801).

Figure 3. Bronze tripod leg from Olympia, ca. 750-700. Olympia Museum, inv. B6400.

Figure 3. Bronze tripod leg from Olympia, ca. 750-700. Olympia Museum, inv. B6400.

Photo G. Hellner (DAI no. Olympia 6318).

Figure 4. Fragment of a bronze giant pin, late eighth century (after Aurigny, 2009), Delphi. inv. 4401.

Figure 4. Fragment of a bronze giant pin, late eighth century (after Aurigny, 2009), Delphi. inv. 4401.

Photo École Française d'Athènes.

Figure 5. Catch-plate fibulae, ca. 750-700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 121.

Figure 5. Catch-plate fibulae, ca. 750-700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 121.

© The Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 6. Crescent fibula, ca. 700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 3204.

Figure 6. Crescent fibula, ca. 700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 3204.

© The Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 7. Bronze cauldron from Tomb 79 at Salamis in Cyprus, ca. 700. Nicosia Museum. After Hampe, Simon, 1980, fig. 166.

Figure 7. Bronze cauldron from Tomb 79 at Salamis in Cyprus, ca. 700. Nicosia Museum. After Hampe, Simon, 1980, fig. 166.

Figure 8. Bronze knucklebone found in Susa, ca. 550-500. Louvre inv. Sb2719.

Figure 8. Bronze knucklebone found in Susa, ca. 550-500. Louvre inv. Sb2719.

Photo: Museum.

Figure 9. Late Geometric bronze miniature tripod from Eretria, after Huber 2003, no. O 25.

Figure 9. Late Geometric bronze miniature tripod from Eretria, after Huber 2003, no. O 25.

Figure 10. Miniature terracotta cauldrons from the Argive Heraion, 7th century, after Caskey, Amandry, 1952, pl. 56, nos. 244-43.

Figure 10. Miniature terracotta cauldrons from the Argive Heraion, 7th century, after Caskey, Amandry, 1952, pl. 56, nos. 244-43.

Figure 11. Late Geometric bronze miniature shield from Lousoi.

Figure 11. Late Geometric bronze miniature shield from Lousoi.

Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, inv. F1944. Photo: Museum.

Figure 12. Tied obeloi on firedogs from the tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.

Figure 12. Tied obeloi on firedogs from the tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki inv. 8640 and 8641. After Vokotopoulou et al., 1985, nos. 278-79.

Figure 13. Furniture from tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.

Figure 13. Furniture from tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki inv. 8639 (chair) and 8938 (table). After Vokotopoulou et al., 1985, nos. 276-77, p. 171.

Figure 14. Miniature skyphoi found at Kirrha, ca. 500.

Figure 14. Miniature skyphoi found at Kirrha, ca. 500.

Photo École Française d'Athènes.

Figure 15. Miniature vessels from Delphi, ca. 540.

Figure 15. Miniature vessels from Delphi, ca. 540.

Photo École Française d'Athènes.

Figure 16. Bronze “Temple boy” from the Korykian Cave.

Figure 16. Bronze “Temple boy” from the Korykian Cave.

Photo École Française d'Athènes.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Weynants-Ronday, 1926, p. 203; Assmann, 2001, p. 131-39. For the situation in the Near East, which is similar, see Fiske, 1969.

2 All dates are BCE unless noted otherwise.

3 For the presentation of the offerings in the temples of Delos on different supports (ribbons, small tablets, small columns) and their conservation, see Prêtre, 1997a.

4 Huber, 2003.

5 Ibid. p. 146-47.

6 Amandry, 1991, p. 191-226.

7 Blegen, 1952.

8 Felsch, 2007, p. 209-10.

9 The evolution of the shape, which lost its use, is described by Rolley, 1977, p. 15-22, Maass, 1978, p. 6-10.

10 Maass, 1978, p. 6-7, 136 no. 1. Mycenaean and Protogeometric tripods are still more clearly functional objects.

11 Rolley, 1977, p. 79; Schweizer, 1971.

12 Hood, 1968, p. 214-18.

13 Inv. 4401, cf. Rolley, 1977, no. 50, p. 40; Aurigny, 2009.

14 On the big Boeotian fibulae, see Rolley, 1983, p. 81-82, Coldstream, 1977, p. 204.

15 Paris, Louvre inv. no. Br 1880.

16 Coldstream, 1977, p. 204 and fig. 66c.

17 Hermann, 1979; Rolley, 1983, p. 70-75.

18 Courbin, 1957; Courbin, 1982.

19 Haussoullier, 1905; Boardman, 1980, p. 108, fig. 125; Meckelmach, Stauber, 2005, no. 421, p. 96; and overall Hitzl, 1996, p. 151-53.

20 Luce, 2003, p. 60-61.

21 Some big knucklebone-shaped vases are attested, such as one decorated by the Sotades Painter (London, British Museum 1860.1201.2 [ARV2 765.20], measuring 16.5 cm in length). But these examples are not completely defunctionalised, since they are vessels.

22 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 309.

23 Huber, 2003, p. 72-73.

24 Huber, 2003, no. O 25.

25 Prêtre, 1997b, p. 679.

26 Ekroth, 2003.

27 Vokotopoulou, 1985, nos. 125, 180, 228, 278, where obeloi are set on firedogs, and 298. Cf no. 125 for more bibliographical references.

28 Voyatzis, 1990, p. 198-200.

29 Prêtre, 1997b, p. 675.

30 Felsch, 2007, no. 1991.

31 Voyatzis, 1990, 200 (miniature swords), 194 (axes).

32 Vokotopoulou, 1985.

33 Jacquemin, 1984.

34 Pemberton, 1989, p. 20.

35 Hammond, 2005, p. 420-21.

36 Huber, 2003, p. 48.

37 Ibid.

38 Onasoglou, 1995.

39 For Attika and Cos, see Rolley, 1977, p. 107-13; for Eleusis see Skias, 1898; for Knossos, see Catling (ed.), 1996, tomb no. 100 (no. 3), 65 (nos. 4-5) and AR 1983, p. 51 (Ambelokipi-Teke).

40 Rolley, 1977, p. 126-29.

41 Demangel, 1926, Lerat, 1957.

42 Poplin, 1984, p. 381-93.

43 Amandry (ed.), 1984, p. 265, fig. 5.

44 Luce, Forthcoming.

45 Edlund-Berry, 2001.

46 Amandry, Caskey, 1952, p. 211 n. 52.

47 Ekroth, 2003.

48 For the relation of figurines and female protomes to the dedicator’s age and gender, see the stimulating interpretation of Arthur Muller, who interprets these objects in a relational system: Muller, 2009. “Temple boys” are not mentioned in his study, but they could be introduced in Muller’s system, as images of children who could be the dedicator, or the person upon whom the dedicator wanted to bestow the god’s benevolence. While reclining banqueters are all adult human beings, seated female figurines might represent goddesses and not human mothers, since some of them carry a reclining banqueter on their knees, which is a divine protective attitude. Cf. Himmelmann, 1978-1980.

49 Amandry, Caskey, 1952, p. 211.

50 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 310.

51 Amandry, 1984.

52 Stillwell et al., 1984, p. 337.

53 Jouve, Luce.

54 Amandry, Caskey 1952, p. 165-67 (Argive Heraion), Luce, 1992, p. 267 (Kirrha), BCH, 15 (1891), p. 9 (Corcyra), Mallwitz, 1972, p. 85-86 (Olympia).

55 See the example of Tegea: Jouve, Luce.

56 The theory of value is displayed in the first capital of On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.

57 Rolley, 1977, p. 26-30.

58 For example, Ruzé, van Effenterre, 1994, no. 12, 1-17.

59 Hitzl, 1996, p. 151-53. The inscription says: These beautiful objects (Tade tagalmata), the produce of the tithe of the harvest, were dedicated to Apollo by Aristolochos and Thrason. Pasikles, son of Kydimeneus, cast them.

60 There are many examples from the Athenian Acropolis in Harris, 1995.

61 Mauss, 2002, p. 59.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Tomb of the Areopagus Warrior, ca. 900, after Blegen, 1954.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 84k
Titre Figure 2. Bronze tripod from Olympia, ca. 900. Olympia Museum, inv. B1240.
Crédits Photo H. Wagner (DAI no. Olympia 1801).
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 412k
Titre Figure 3. Bronze tripod leg from Olympia, ca. 750-700. Olympia Museum, inv. B6400.
Crédits Photo G. Hellner (DAI no. Olympia 6318).
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,1M
Titre Figure 4. Fragment of a bronze giant pin, late eighth century (after Aurigny, 2009), Delphi. inv. 4401.
Crédits Photo École Française d'Athènes.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 100k
Titre Figure 5. Catch-plate fibulae, ca. 750-700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 121.
Crédits © The Trustees of the British Museum.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 516k
Titre Figure 6. Crescent fibula, ca. 700. London, British Museum inv. Bronze 3204.
Crédits © The Trustees of the British Museum.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 392k
Titre Figure 7. Bronze cauldron from Tomb 79 at Salamis in Cyprus, ca. 700. Nicosia Museum. After Hampe, Simon, 1980, fig. 166.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 36k
Titre Figure 8. Bronze knucklebone found in Susa, ca. 550-500. Louvre inv. Sb2719.
Crédits Photo: Museum.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 72k
Titre Figure 9. Late Geometric bronze miniature tripod from Eretria, after Huber 2003, no. O 25.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 24k
Titre Figure 10. Miniature terracotta cauldrons from the Argive Heraion, 7th century, after Caskey, Amandry, 1952, pl. 56, nos. 244-43.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 12k
Titre Figure 11. Late Geometric bronze miniature shield from Lousoi.
Crédits Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, inv. F1944. Photo: Museum.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 436k
Titre Figure 12. Tied obeloi on firedogs from the tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.
Crédits Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki inv. 8640 and 8641. After Vokotopoulou et al., 1985, nos. 278-79.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 16k
Titre Figure 13. Furniture from tomb 25 at Sindos, ca. 540.
Crédits Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki inv. 8639 (chair) and 8938 (table). After Vokotopoulou et al., 1985, nos. 276-77, p. 171.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 24k
Titre Figure 14. Miniature skyphoi found at Kirrha, ca. 500.
Crédits Photo École Française d'Athènes.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 332k
Titre Figure 15. Miniature vessels from Delphi, ca. 540.
Crédits Photo École Française d'Athènes.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 16k
Titre Figure 16. Bronze “Temple boy” from the Korykian Cave.
Crédits Photo École Française d'Athènes.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2096/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 189k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Jean-Marc Luce, « From miniature objects to giant ones: The process of defunctionalisation in sanctuaries and graves in Iron Age Greece », Pallas, 86 | 2011, 53-73.

Référence électronique

Jean-Marc Luce, « From miniature objects to giant ones: The process of defunctionalisation in sanctuaries and graves in Iron Age Greece », Pallas [En ligne], 86 | 2011, mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2011, consulté le 27 juin 2017. URL : http://pallas.revues.org/2096 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.2096

Haut de page

Auteur

Jean-Marc Luce

Professor of Archaeology
Université de Toulouse 2-Le Mirail
jean-marc.luce@wanadoo.fr

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

Haut de page
  • Logo Presses universitaires du Midi
  • Revues.org