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Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider

Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider - Benaki Museum, Athens - Joy of Museums

Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider

These Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider made from terracotta with painted decoration were common grave offerings. Horses were a sign of wealth for the ancient Greeks, and the terracotta horses symbolised or reinforce the status of the deceased. These offerings may have represented the status of the dead or their family’s hopes for their afterlife.

Thousands of clay horse figurines like these survive from the Archaic period. Clay was a standard and easily worked material, and these figurines varied from highly finished to very crude. Terracotta figurines were produced throughout Greece, but horses were a favourite subject for Boeotian.


Boeotia was a region of ancient Greece, since before the 6th century BC. One of the regional units of Central Greece, its capital is Livadeia, and its largest city is Thebes. Boeotia lies to the north of the eastern part of the Gulf of Corinth. The early wealth and power of Boeotia are demonstrated by the reputation and Mycenean remains of several of its cities, especially Thebes.


  • What do these figurines tell us about Ancient Greece?

Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider

  • Title:             Boeotian Horse Figurines with Rider
  • Date:             ca. 600–650 B.C.
  • Culture:        Boeotian
  • Geography:  Greece
  • Medium:       Terracotta
  • Dimensions: 10 – 12 cm
  • Museum:       Benaki Museum, Athens


“Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
– Greek Proverb


Photo Credit: 1) JOM