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The Late etruscan votive heads from Tessennano. A study of production, distribution and sociohistorical context.

Söderlind, Martin LU (2000)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

De senetruskiska votivhuvudena i terrakotta (bränd lera) från Tessennano på Medelhavsmuseet i Stockholm hittades 1956 i anslutning till en lantlig helgedom, ungefär tio mil norr om Rom, Italien. Att de är votivgåvor innebär att de skänktes av tillbedjare som representationer av dem själva inför gudomen eller gudomarna. Avhandlingen diskuterar emellertid inte de religiösa aspekterna på föremålen utan hur när och var de tillverkades samt vilka som använde dem. Huvudenas framsidor tillverkades i långa serier med hjälp av ansiktsformar medan baksidorna är handgjorda. Med hjälp av ett huvud av god kvalitet har jag tillverkat moderna formar som använts för att göra nya framsidor. Slitaget på de antika... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

De senetruskiska votivhuvudena i terrakotta (bränd lera) från Tessennano på Medelhavsmuseet i Stockholm hittades 1956 i anslutning till en lantlig helgedom, ungefär tio mil norr om Rom, Italien. Att de är votivgåvor innebär att de skänktes av tillbedjare som representationer av dem själva inför gudomen eller gudomarna. Avhandlingen diskuterar emellertid inte de religiösa aspekterna på föremålen utan hur när och var de tillverkades samt vilka som använde dem. Huvudenas framsidor tillverkades i långa serier med hjälp av ansiktsformar medan baksidorna är handgjorda. Med hjälp av ett huvud av god kvalitet har jag tillverkat moderna formar som använts för att göra nya framsidor. Slitaget på de antika formarna visar sig genom att jämföra huvuden av god kvalitet med andra där det mesta av detaljerna på hår och anletsdrag nötts bort. Genom att jämföra med de moderna formarnas tålighet har jag ungefärligen kunnat uppskatta ett minimum antal huvuden som måste ha tillverkats med de antika formarna innan de användes för de bevaraade huvudena av dålig kvalitet. Produktionen har utan tvekan omfattat flera tusen huvuden. Dateringen av huvudena baserar sig främst på stilistiska jämförelser med grekiska skulpturer som är kända genom litterära texter. Men några liggande figurer på lock till sarkofager i terrakotta samt andra fynd som gjorts i de gravar där sarkofagerna hittades kunde också användas vid dateringen. Huvudena på de liggande figurerna är i många fall gjorda av samma formar eller formar som är besläktade med dem som användes för votivhuvudena. Dessa kunde dateras från ca. 300 till tidigt första århundrade f Kr. För att kunna utröna var huvudena troligen tillverkats har jag studerat de handgjorda baksidorna. Även leran som använts vid tillverkningen kunde studeras bl a med hjälp av petrografisk mikroskopering på tunnslip och röntgendiffraktion (XRD). Votivhuvuden gjorda med besläktade formar har hittats i Tarquinia, Vulci, Pitigliano och Saturnia. Frågan hur dessa typer av huvuden distribuerades från tillverkningsorten diskuteras också. Tre huvudsakliga sätt att distribuera diskuteras: hantverkscirlulation (kringresande hantverkare), formcirkulation och produktcirculation. Inga evidens för hantverkscirkulation kunde hittas. Däremot tyder vissa indikationer att en skulptör i lera arbetade både i Vulci och Tarquinia under första hälften av 100-talet f Kr. Formcirkulation förekommer under sent 200tal och tidigt 100tal f Kr. Produktcirkulation förekommer under hela perioden och tycks ha varit det vanligaste sättet att distribuera. Flera sorters evidens (topografiska, arkeologiska och ikonografiska) tyder på att det var romerska kolonister snarare än etrusker som använde votivhuvudena. (Less)
Abstract
The Late etruscan terracotta votive heads from Tessennano were found near a rural sanctuary about a hundred km to the North of Rome in 1956. Whereas the facial fronts are serially produced with moulds, the backs are handmade. By using not only the moulded and the handmade features but the raw material (clay and temper) as well, it has been possible to make suggestions as to how, when and where they were produced. The study also considers the identity of the venerants who donated the heads to the sanctuary. In order to study the ancient use of moulds, a replication of the serial production was carried out. With modern moulds, produced by one of the ancient heads of good quality, two hundred heads were produed. The wear of the ancient moulds... (More)
The Late etruscan terracotta votive heads from Tessennano were found near a rural sanctuary about a hundred km to the North of Rome in 1956. Whereas the facial fronts are serially produced with moulds, the backs are handmade. By using not only the moulded and the handmade features but the raw material (clay and temper) as well, it has been possible to make suggestions as to how, when and where they were produced. The study also considers the identity of the venerants who donated the heads to the sanctuary. In order to study the ancient use of moulds, a replication of the serial production was carried out. With modern moulds, produced by one of the ancient heads of good quality, two hundred heads were produed. The wear of the ancient moulds could be discerned by comparing casts of good quality with bad ones. These were in their turn compared with the wear of the modern moulds. Thereby, the approximate minimum number (several thousands) of casts that were made by the ancient moulds before they were used for making the preserved heads could be established. The dating of the heads are based mainly on stylistic comparisons with Greek sculpture whose datings are known from literary sources. However, the reclining lid statues on some terracotta sarcophagi from Tuscania as well as other finds from the tombs in which the sarcophagi were found provided valuable information for the chronology as well. The heads of these lid statues are made with moulds identical or related with those that were used for the heads from Tessennano. The votive heads have been dated from c.300 B.C. to the early first century B.C. Votive heads made with identical or related moulds have been found in Tarquinia, Vulci, Saturnia and Pitigliano. Samples of raw clay were collected at all locations where such heads have been found and around Tuscania as well. The clays were compared with samples of the terracottas using petrographic microscopy by means of thin sections and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Comparative studies of the raw material as well as of the handmade backs suggest that the heads were produced at several locations. However, a large part could be attributed to the same workshops at Tuscania who made the terracotta sarcophagi as well. Three main ways of distributing the types to vaious locations are considered: craft circulation, mould circulation and product circulation. No evidence of craft circulation could be found. There are some indications of a coroplast (clay sculptor) working at Tarquinia and Vulci in the first half of the second century B.C. The evidence of mould circulation is confined to the late third and first half of the second century. Product circulation seems to have been the most frequent way of distribution. Various kinds of evidence (topographical, archaeological and iconographical) suggests that the venerants were Roman colonists rather than local inhabitants. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
opponent
  • Dr. Lulof, Patricia, University of Amsterdam
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
mould circulation, terracotta sarcophagi, Roman colonization, petrographic microscopy, Late etruscan, mould generation, mould, archetype, votive head, terracotta, traveling workshops, velum, Ancient history, Antikens och forntidens historia
pages
200 pages
publisher
Martin Söderlind, Spinnarevägen 16, Södra Sandby,
defense location
Hörsalen Eden, Paradisgatan 5
defense date
2000-04-03 10:15
external identifiers
  • Other:ISRN: LUHFDA/HUSH HFKA--99/1011--SE+200
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
45f840a3-1634-4ae5-8583-2059b95cd705 (old id 19633)
date added to LUP
2007-05-25 13:41:52
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:12
@phdthesis{45f840a3-1634-4ae5-8583-2059b95cd705,
  abstract     = {The Late etruscan terracotta votive heads from Tessennano were found near a rural sanctuary about a hundred km to the North of Rome in 1956. Whereas the facial fronts are serially produced with moulds, the backs are handmade. By using not only the moulded and the handmade features but the raw material (clay and temper) as well, it has been possible to make suggestions as to how, when and where they were produced. The study also considers the identity of the venerants who donated the heads to the sanctuary. In order to study the ancient use of moulds, a replication of the serial production was carried out. With modern moulds, produced by one of the ancient heads of good quality, two hundred heads were produed. The wear of the ancient moulds could be discerned by comparing casts of good quality with bad ones. These were in their turn compared with the wear of the modern moulds. Thereby, the approximate minimum number (several thousands) of casts that were made by the ancient moulds before they were used for making the preserved heads could be established. The dating of the heads are based mainly on stylistic comparisons with Greek sculpture whose datings are known from literary sources. However, the reclining lid statues on some terracotta sarcophagi from Tuscania as well as other finds from the tombs in which the sarcophagi were found provided valuable information for the chronology as well. The heads of these lid statues are made with moulds identical or related with those that were used for the heads from Tessennano. The votive heads have been dated from c.300 B.C. to the early first century B.C. Votive heads made with identical or related moulds have been found in Tarquinia, Vulci, Saturnia and Pitigliano. Samples of raw clay were collected at all locations where such heads have been found and around Tuscania as well. The clays were compared with samples of the terracottas using petrographic microscopy by means of thin sections and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Comparative studies of the raw material as well as of the handmade backs suggest that the heads were produced at several locations. However, a large part could be attributed to the same workshops at Tuscania who made the terracotta sarcophagi as well. Three main ways of distributing the types to vaious locations are considered: craft circulation, mould circulation and product circulation. No evidence of craft circulation could be found. There are some indications of a coroplast (clay sculptor) working at Tarquinia and Vulci in the first half of the second century B.C. The evidence of mould circulation is confined to the late third and first half of the second century. Product circulation seems to have been the most frequent way of distribution. Various kinds of evidence (topographical, archaeological and iconographical) suggests that the venerants were Roman colonists rather than local inhabitants.},
  author       = {Söderlind, Martin},
  keyword      = {mould circulation,terracotta sarcophagi,Roman colonization,petrographic microscopy,Late etruscan,mould generation,mould,archetype,votive head,terracotta,traveling workshops,velum,Ancient history,Antikens och forntidens historia},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {200},
  publisher    = {Martin Söderlind, Spinnarevägen 16, Södra Sandby,},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {The Late etruscan votive heads from Tessennano. A study of production, distribution and sociohistorical context.},
  year         = {2000},
}