Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissen­schaftliche Fakultät - Winckelmann-Institut

Abstract Silvia Martina Bertesago


Archaic votive coroplastic from Taranto

Production and style, sacred context of use, diffusion in the indigenous area.


In the last years, thanks to archaeological discoveries and to studies of specific classes of objects, there is a revaluation of the role of Taranto in the 6th century b.C., mostly regarding the relationship with the indigenous world. About this theme to the votive plastic has been till now dedicated little space, therefore it seemed to us interesting to pay our attention to these products, with the aim of add a piece for a more complete picture of the phenomenon.

The approach adopted consider the different questions involved in the study of coroplastic and rises from the need to review the dossier of Taranto, that is so far known mostly through art-historical and iconographic studies of collection material.

We have chosen to examine the terracottas, of which we knew the place of discovery, starting from those attested in the colony of Taranto and then proceeding to identify the Tarantine types in the indigenous settlements, in order to comprehend their historical and cultural significance. The nucleus so formed, consisting of ca. 680 pieces, can be considered a representative sample of the Tarantine production between the 7th ant the begin of the 5th century b.C. and of its diffusion in the native inland.

The study allowed to know in more detail several phenomena. The technical issues, also thanks to comparisons with bronze artifacts and with terracottas of others colonies in Magna Graecia, focused mainly to the production processes and to the organization of the workshops. Stylistically were identified different influences from Greece. The study of objects considering their context of discovery was fundamental to analyze the distribution of types in the different sacred areas of the ancient city, thus obtaining interesting information about the ritual practices and the characters of the cults. The attention to the indigenous settlements in Apulia and in Lucania allowed to have a more complete view, not limited to the Greek colony, but also including the relations with the Natives.