Terracotta Female with Pig
Date: 4th-early 3rd c. BCE
Excavation Site: Corinth
Monument: Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore
Location: Lower Terrace Context: Pit 1965-1, a deposit of mixed material from the sanctuary
Actual Size: H: 0.157m, W: 0.054m
Museum: Corinth Museum MF 13709
Mouldmade terracotta figurine shows a female devotee standing on a low plinth and carrying a piglet. Most terracotta figurines were painted in antiquity, but the paint no longer survives. In this case, some yellow paint remains in the hair. Hollow interior, with the finger impressions of the craftsman preserved.
Plan of the upper ritual zone and banqueting buildings. Courtesy of Corinth Excavations.
When they excavated this terracotta offering in 1965, they found it with thousands of terracotta figurines, pottery (ca. 12 kg), lamps, loomweights, and rooftiles. Because many of the pottery pieces and artifacts were broken before they were deposited, the archaeologists determined that the deposit consisted of offerings and sanctuary items deposed of in antiquity.
One of many votives showing a female figure, it is thought that the statuette depicts a devotee bringing an offering of a piglet to Demeter and Persephone. Our ancient sources indicate that piglets were used in many rituals involving the goddesses, especially the Eleusinian Mysteries, when initiates carried piglets to the goddess during the pre-initiation procession. Likewise, pigs were presented to the divinity during the Thesmophoria ritual, a festival occiasion especially important to the women in communities across Greece.
Plan of the Upper and Middle Terrace. Courtesy of Corinth Excavations.
Vertices: 817, 300
Surface Reconstruction: Poisson