Hydrophoros Analysis

753 Words 4 Pages
Name and Description
Wilcox N. 502 is a hydrophoros, or a statuette of a woman holding a hydria atop of her head that was traditionally used for transporting water, made from fired clay standing at 23 centimeters in height. The figure is from an unknown Greek provenance and has been dated to the early fourth century c. CE. Most likely created using a mold. How it Was Made This bust of a woman was likely made in Italy by some kind of professional sculptor or craftsman during either the end of the classical period in Italian art or the beginning of the Hellenistic period. There were two common processes for making terra cotta statuettes: handmade by sculptors or made using a mold (Huish 1900: 226). This Greek statuette was most likely
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Specifically, for fired clay an absolute method of measurement that could have been used is called thermoluminescence dating, which is dependent on an object being fired to date as extreme exposure to light resets the amount of thermoluminescence contained by substance and after the item is buried the amount of thermoluminescence begins to rebuild (Price 2015: 1). It also could have been dated using a relative form of dating such as using the stratigraphy of the site it was found on if the archaeologists had kept a good track of what came from which layer. Another relative method could have been a typological method by using the style of the statue to determine approximately what period it was from. In this particular instance, it is more likely for an absolute method to have been used given the fact that whoever dated it was able to place it as having been made early on in the fourth century CE. An absolute method is more likely to have a smaller range of potential dates compared to relative dating methods, it is also more reliable. This statuette would have most likely been made at around that time period and most likely used as a small decoration in a Greek house, as it does not appear religious in nature (Huish 1900: 13). Given that this artifact is still in relatively good condition, as indicated by the presence of remaining paint, it most likely was buried fairly early on in its life and was rediscovered by archaeologists at an unknown

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