"Altered Cycladic Head"
Delos, The Cyclades, Greece
42cm painted marble
The Cyclades are a small group of Aegean islands where a unique civilization flourished in 3000-2000 BCE. The striking marble sculptures produced during this period are characterized by the almost complete absence of facial detail. It is not known what purpose these figures served, except that they are generally associated with the remains of temples.
The subject figure shows the traditional minimized facial execution. However at some point additional details were drawn onto the marble in ink. A nearby inscription, although considerably damaged, refers to it as:
"... the [doglike?] prophet, all knowing, manipulating, scheming One..."
There is no record of dog-worship on the islands. The details may have been added later by visitors or invaders after the Cycladic civilization was overtaken by the Minoans.