Monday, September 08, 2014

Two caryatids found at the Amphipolis burial monument in Macedonia

The Ministry of Culture in Greece has announced another spectacular find at the Amphipolis burial monument in Macedoniatwo caryatids of exquisite beauty, carved from thasian marble with traces of blue and red paint. Caryatids were found when a team of archaeologists led by Katerina Peristeri removed sandy soil in front of a sealing wall and found the two female sculptures stood between two marble pillars supporting a beam. The Ministry said that the presence of the caryatids supports the view that this is an “outstanding monument of particular importance.”

A caryatid is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The Greek term ‘karyatides’ translates to "maidens of Karyai", an ancient town of Peloponnese. Karyai had .... a famous temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis in her aspect of Artemis Karyatis.

The caryatids found at Amphipolis, which are carved from Thassos marble, are wearing a sleeved tunic and earrings, and feature long, curly hair covering their shoulders. The right arm of the western caryatid and the left arm of the eastern one are both outstretched, as if to symbolically stop anyone attempting to enter the grave. The face of one of the sculptures survives almost intact, while the other one is missing.

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