Digital Heritage Research Lab

Have you ever heard about the ancient Cypriot temple boys?

These statuettes, which date from the 5th century B.C, are part of the Pierides Museum – Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation (BOCCF) in Nicosia, where they are currently on display.

This type of temple-boy Statuette was offered to both male and female divinities as votive offerings and they are rarely found in tombs. The most plausible theory and interpretation about the temple-boy statuettes are that they were somehow connected with circumcision.

On May 31, 2022, members of the #EU_ERA_Chair_Mnemosyne project team visited the Museum at the BOCCF, in Nicosia, to study and digitize artefacts belonging to the collection.

The collection numbers more than 600 objects and covers a wide range of Cypriot Archaeology from the Early BronzeAge to the Medieval period. It includes unique examples of pottery from the Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Roman and Medieval periods, clay figurines, stone sculptures, seals, jewelerry, coins and bronze objects.

In consultation with the Head Curator of the Museum, Dr. Christodoulos Hatzichristodoulou, the three limestone statuettes of a clothed youth sitting of the Cypriot-classical period were chosen to be studied.

In collaboration with the University of West Attica Πανεπιστήμιο Δυτικής Αττικής, a study of the three temple-boy sculptures’ chemical composition was carried out using the non-invasive technologies of #Xray fluorescence #Spectroscopy and #Xray Raman #Spectroscopy, which allows traces of an object’s original colors to be identified.

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