Clay sculptures from an ancient cult centre at Cyprus called Aija Irini

Clay sculptures from an ancient cult centre at Cyprus called Aija Irini

2 thoughts on “Clay sculptures from an ancient cult centre at Cyprus called Aija Irini

  1. First impression — their version of the terra cotta army. Need more details….. What is its purpose? Who created this? Actually it has a look of Hogwarts. Can it be seen somewhere? What buildings or other artifactsnj were found in the area?


    • Priscilla,
      I hope this helps.
      Ayia Irini is a small village near the north-west coast of Cyprus situated on a rock . Totally more than 2,000 terracotta sculptures have been found. The ruins of the ancient city extend to the south of the modern village called Dali. … blocks of rooms with a cult house in the centre surrounded by storehouses.
      The sanctuary of Ayia Irini was constructed at the end of the Late Cypriote III period and was in use until c. 480 B.C. A revival can be detected in the first century B.C. The culture layers represent 7 periods of use with period 4–6 as the most important (c. 700–500 B.C.). During period 1 (c.1200–1050 B.C.) the sanctuary consisted of a complex of rectangular buildings arranged along the sides of a large open court measuring approx. 30 x 20 m. The houses served as living quarters for the priest, store rooms and cult purposes. In the central house the cult requisites were found, consisting of offering tables, large pithoi, jugs, bowls, a stone cult axe, pestles and grinders, spindle whorls of stone, a bronze arrowhead and a terracotta bull. No cult object was found, but a strong possibility exists that the oval stone which was the cult object in the later temenos, originated from the first period of existence of the sanctuary and was thus transferred to later periods. The cult was very clearly agrarian with worship of deities protecting the crops and cattle.


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