Maritime activity was an essential component in the life and culture of the ancient island of Cyprus. By 1050 BC, shipping was an established method of communication and trade between Cyprus and neighbouring islands such as Crete, and with mainland Greece and the Near East.
Terracotta boats and ships belonged to a long-standing tradition within ancient Cyprus. Dating as far back as 2500 BC, simple boat figurines were found in sanctuaries and tombs across the island. These range from a basic vessel to a more sophisticated ship containing two or more passengers and often additional details such as a hull, stern and steering wheel. The human figures, typically Cypriot in style, were moulded in the round with animated facial features.
Many examples dating to the 4th century BC have been excavated from the Acropolis at Amathus and from neighbouring cemeteries.
The eye on the bow was often used in antiquity, due to its apotropaic function of warding off evil to ensure the safety of the vessel and its crew.
mini terracotta boat
- Length: 13cm Height 6cm
Made in Greece. The decoration and colouring varies slightly on each one.