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by Archaeology Newsroom

A superb statue of Phrasikleia. A reconstruction of the Kore’s multicoloured garb

In May 18, 1972, the archaeologist Euthymios Mastrokostas discovered the statues of a kouros and a kore in a trench, only 40 cm. deep, in the necropolis of Myrrinous, the present Merenta, about 30 km. southeast of Athens. The kore and kouros had been carefully placed so as to face one other. According to the conclusions of the excavator, the dating of the ceramic finds, which accompany the statues, leads to the propable assumption that the works were buried before the Persian invasion, around 490/480 BC, so as to prevent their destruction by the enemy.

Scientific research relates Phrasikleia to the Kore from Keratea, the so-called “Berlin goddess”, which on the basis of her garb, head decoration and body outline dates from 570 to 560 BC approximately. The preserved traces of colour on several statues of korai from the Acropolis of Athens allow us to ascertain the major importance of the colouring of the garments — in decorative bands and various designs – to perfect the statues’ appearance. The complete image and the splendour of the original polychromy of the garments can be observed in the statue of Phrasikleia in the best possible way. As a matter of fact the perfectly preserved incised decoration of her chiton allows an almost perfect reconstruction of its entire decoration. Since no detailed photograph of the ornaments of the chiton or of the back view of the kore have been published as yet, four drawings which facilitate the understanding of their lay-out are presented here for the first time.