"Reclassified Cycladic Sculpture"
Cyclades Islands, Greece
c. 2800 BCE
18 cm Ivory
Until recently described in catalogues of early Cycladic art as "Seated Harpist", and assumed to be female, as were most early statues from the Aegean islands. However, additional cleaning and the discovery of microscopic traces of flesh-colored paint on the "harp", have sparked debate among archaeologists resulting in its reassessment as a decidedly male figure, more than likely a fertility god or possibly an entertainer at orgies.