Schematic human figure, spade type

Early Aegean, Cycladic
Bronze Age, Early Cycladic Period
about 2600–2000 B.C.

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 001; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references).


Height x width: 19 x 6.9 cm (7 1/2 x 2 11/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, mainland?

Not On View


The Ancient World



The long, tapering neck, which has no separately described head, joins a basically rectangular body with slightly sloping shoulders, concave sides, and a rounded bottom. Although the neck tilts back from one of the flat sides, there are no incised or plastically rendered indications of anatomy to distinguish the front from the back of the body, or the sex. These details, like the missing face, were perhaps once added in paint, which has long since worn away.
This flat, stylized representation of a human figure is preserved intact except for some flaking along the lower edge of one side. Its warm gold patina is deeper on the side with heavy globular encrustation.


Said to have been found near Marathon with MFA 1972.866, 867, 869; by the 1940s, with Nikolas Koutoulakis; by 1971: sold by Mr. Koutoulakis in Geneva to Robin Symes, 3 Ormond Yard, York Street, St. James's, London S.W. 1 (R. Symes, Ancient Art, June 1971, under no. 11, illus.); purchased by MFA from Robin Symes, September 13, 1972

Credit Line

John H. and Ernestine A. Payne Fund