Motya Charioteer

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Mozia Charioteer
Motya Charioteer
Marble statue of a young male charioteer
Dimensions181 cm × 40 cm (71 in × 16 in)
LocationMuseo Giuseppe Whitaker, Mozia

The Motya or Mozia Charioteer is a marble statue from the Classical Period. It was found in October 1979 on the island of Motya (Italian: Mozia), a Phoenician settlement off the coast of Sicily.[1][2] It is now held in the Museo Giuseppe Whitaker (inv. no. 4310) on the same island.

Discovery and Archeological Context[edit]

The Motya Charioteer was discovered in the northeast sector of the island of Motya, while archeologists were excavating an open area between an ancient potters' workshop and a sanctuary. The area was filled with rubble and dirt that may have once formed barricades erected during Dionysius I of Syracuse's siege of Motya in 397 BC.[3][4] The statue was found lying on its back with its head detached and resting in place, suggesting that the weight of the soil that had buried the statue was responsible for its decapitation.[3] The arms, metal accessories, and base of the statue were not found at the site and remain missing; therefore, it is likely that the statue was not found in its original context. It is possible that the statue was originally displayed in the nearby sanctuary and was knocked down during the Syracusan siege.[3]


  • Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome. Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 2013.
  • Bell, Malcolm (1995). "The Motya Charioteer and Pindar's "Isthmian 2"". Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome. 40: 1–42. doi:10.2307/4238727. JSTOR 4238727.
  • Falsone, G. (1988). "La scoperta, lo scavo, e il contesto archeologico". La statua marmorea di Mozia e la scultura di stile severo in Sicilia.
  • Papadopoulos, J. (2014). "The Motya Youth: Apollo Karneios, Art and Tyranny in the Greek West." Art Bulletin.
  • Stampolidis, N. (2004). Magna Graecia: Athletics and the Olympic Spirit on the Periphery of the Hellenic World. Athens. pp. 34–38.


  1. ^ McDowell, Carolyn. "Motya Charioteer - ancient Greek sculpture at its finest". The Culture Concept Circle. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  2. ^ Papadopoulos, John (December 2014). "The Motya Youth: Apollo Karneios, Art, and Tyranny in the Greek West". Art Bulletin. 96: 395.
  3. ^ a b c Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome. J. Paul Getty Museum. 2013. p. 84.
  4. ^ Falsone, G. (1986). "La scoperta, lo scavo e il contesto archeologico". La statua marmorea di Mozia: 9–29.