Temple Boy

The temple boy is a type of statuette popular in Cyprus as well as the Levant region.   The round-faced boy sits on an irregular plinth and is adorned with bracelets round both wrists.   Many interpretations as to the use and purpose of the temple boy statuettes have been put forward, mainly that they served as votive offerings to both male and female divinities.   One interpretation explains that these offerings represent a wish for a male child, an ambition that is exemplary of the expectations that many cultures have for male offspring even today.   Linked to hierarchies in patriarchal societies, objects such as these highlight stark differences between genders when it comes to social expectations, status and discrimination on the basis of gender.

Time Period: 500 BCE – 1 CE
Size: H. 19cm
Artist: Unknown
Material: Limestone
Institution: Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation