The marble figures usually called "idols" or "figurines are the best-known shapes of the Cycladic Art that flourished during the early Bronze Age in the Aegean. The “Cycladic figurines” evolved in the Cyclades, in the period between 3200 and 2200 BC and continued to be produced until 2000 BC.
The marble figurines vary in sizes and style. The most common are the figures with the folded arms, known as the “canonical” type figurines, which usually represent nude female figures with the arms folded above the abdomen.
The figurines have lyre-shaped heads with wide foreheads, angular shoulders and incisions indicating the arms, the pubic triangle and the joints. They often seem to be lying down and to be in the state of pregnancy.
The nose is the only feature that is strongly indicated at the heads of the “folded-arm” figurines, while other parts, like the ears are often engraved or embossed.
However, pigments were used to denote facial features, such as the eyes and the hair, while it is speculated that some idols might have been decorated with silver jewelry.
The meaning and function of the figurines is most likely connected to the religious beliefs of the prehistoric Aegean civilizations. It is assumed that they are representative of the "Mother goddess", a symbol of fertility and rebirth. They have been variously interpreted as idols of the gods, images of death, children's dolls, and other things.
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