Psi and phi type figurine
Tau-, Psi- and phi- type figurines date back to 1450-1100 BC in Mycenaean Greece. They were typically made of terracotta, although a group of ivory figurines has been found, and were found in tombs, shrines and settlement areas. They got their names from their shape and a resemblance to the Greek letters of tau (τ), psi (ψ) and phi (Φ).
Their function/purpose is unknown, although it has been suggested that their purpose changed with the context in which they were found. Possible uses were children's toys, votive figurines or grave offerings.
Some figurines appear to wear flattened headdresses, which suggests they may be goddesses. However, it is difficult to distinguish between goddesses and worshippers. It is likely that they were made by the same craftsmen who made Mycenaean vases, as the decoration techniques are similar.
- Olsen, Barbara A (Feb 1998). "Women, Children and the Family in the Late Aegean Bronze Age: Differences in Minoan and Mycenaean Constructions of Gender". World Archaeology. 29 (3): 380–392. doi:10.1080/00438243.1998.9980386. JSTOR 125037.
- British Museum. "Three terracotta figurines". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
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