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Motya (Mozia)


The Motya Charioteer. Photo Jona Lendering. Motya: Phoenician city on an island in the west of Sicily, modern Mozia. The first part of this article can be read here.

On this page, you will find some pictures from the small museum on the isle of Motya, which is in the "Villa Whittaker", called after the archaeologist who -after Heinrich Schliemann, who wanted to solve "historical questions" and was not interested in the material culture of a civilization for its own sake- had abandoned the site- started the excavations.

This first photo shows the splendid marble 'charioteer of Motya', which is just a bit larger than life-size, and was discovered in 1979. It resembles the more famous Delphian charioteer, which is not very much older. Stylistically, the statue from Motya can be dated to the second quarter of the fifth century ("wet drapery style") and it was made by a very capable Greek artist. His lost right hand may have carried a wreath or have waved to the audience. Some say the man carried a club, in which case this statue represent is not a charioteer but the demigod Heracles, crowning himself with a laurel wreath. Unless the arms are found, we will never know.

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Figurines. Photo Marco Prins.

The photos below are from the Villa Whittaker. The charming bronzes to the left are from the splendid archaeological  museum in Palermo.

The three sepulchral stelas below date back to the end of the sixth or the beginning of the fifth century. They were discovered at the necropolis.

Sepulchral stela. Photo Marco Prins.
Sepulchral stela. Photo Marco Prins.
Sepulchral stela. Photo Marco Prins.
To the Lord Ba'al Hammon, this has
been dedicated by HM  LKT, son of 'BDY
Sepulchral stela Sepulchral stela
Greek terracotta mask, c.500 BCE. Museum of Marsala. Photo Marco Prins.
Portrait mask. Photo Marco Prins.
Portrait mask. Photo Marco Prins.
Portrait mask. Photo Marco Prins.
Portrait mask. Photo Marco Prins.
Greek terracotta mask, c.500 BCE.  Greek-Phoenician female mask;  end of the sixth century Male mask; end of the sixth century Egyptianizing female mask; end of sixth century Greek-Phoenician female mask;  end of the sixth century
Dish from Motya. Photo Marco Prins. And the last photo: a beautiful Greek plate from the fourth century. It must have belonged to people who lived in one of the mansions like the Villa of the Mosaics, which were built after Motya had been sacked by Dionysius of Syracuse. Jona Lendering for
Livius.Org, 2003
Revision: 27 Sept. 2009
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