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. 002; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 106 (additional published references).


Height x width: 15.6 x 5.7 cm (6 1/8 x 2 1/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble, mainland?

Not On View


The Ancient World



This figurine consists of a scarcely tapered neck, without a distinguishable head, joined to a spade-shaped body. Below the shoulders, which slope into small protruding points, the concave sides curve into a slightly rounded bottom. It has no remaining indications of anatomy, though there may have once been painted details.
The long neck of this flat figure was once broken off at the shoulders and mended. A small chip is missing from one corner of the rectangular neck, but the figure is otherwise intact. A golden patina, deeper on the more heavily incrusted side, covers the surface.


Said to have been found near Marathon with MFA 1972.866-868; 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