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  • Ancient Cyprus in the British Museum. Essays in honour of Veronica Tatton-Brown
  • Alison Barclay
Thomas Kiely, ed. Ancient Cyprus in the British Museum. Essays in honour of Veronica Tatton-Brown. British Museum Press Research Publication 180. London: The British Museum, 2009. Pp. viii + 100, 60 colour, black and white figures, plus line drawings, tables and catalogues. US $50.00 (pb). ISBN 978-086159-180-0.

This volume contains seven essays on diverse topics associated with Cypriot archaeology, the Cypriot collection at the British Museum and Veronica Tatton-Brown, curator of the Cypriot collection in the [End Page 180] Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum from 1974 to 2004. The essays were originally presented at a small conference held at the British Museum in 2006 by an international group of “friends and colleagues” (v) whose comments and choice of topics clearly illustrate Tatton-Brown’s breadth of knowledge, range of interests and contributions to Cypriot art history and archaeology, as well as the rich and complex history of the island.

Lesley Fitton introduces the essays with a biographical sketch of Tatton-Brown’s career in “Veronica Tatton-Brown, Cyprus and the British Museum” (v–viii). Fitton focuses her remarks on Tatton-Brown’s studies of Cypro-Archaic and Cypro-Classical sculpture and iconography. Tatton-Brown recognized early in her career that Cyprus’ interactions with both the Aegean and Near Eastern cultures affected the development of its own cultural traditions, including the creation of indigenous sculptural styles which she has demonstrated to be the product of a deliberate blending of Greek and/or Near Eastern elements with local stylistic traditions (v–vi).1 Fitton also acknowledges Tatton-Brown’s achievements as curator of Cypriot Antiquities, most significantly her role in the establishment of the A. G. Leventis Gallery of Cypriot Antiquities in 1987, and as a very willing and helpful guide for visiting academics wishing to study ancient Cypriot culture. Equally important, and illustrated by the “Bibliography of major published works” (vii–viii), are Tatton-Brown’s publications of the notebooks from the 19th century British Museum expeditions at Enkomi, and of articles on the early excavators and excavations of Cyprus. These introductory remarks set the tone for the essays that follow, each of which was inspired by a project, publication, or area of interest of Tatton-Brown. All warmly endorse Fitton’s characterization of Tatton-Brown as a scholar and a curator.

The first essay, by Vassos Karageorghis, “Cypriote Archaeology in the Bloomsbury Area” (1–6), is an autobiographical account of Dr. Karageorghis’ studies and early career in Cypriot archaeology, and his dealings with various British archaeologists, including Tatton-Brown with whom he collaborated to create the Leventis Gallery. This is followed by Franz Georg Maier and Marie-Louise von Wartburg’s “Reconstruction of a Siege: the Persians at Paphos” (7–20), a paper which was inspired by a reconstruction drawing commissioned for the Leventis Gallery and which analyzes the pros and cons of such drawings. Antoine Hermary’s “Parents et enfants dans la sculpture chypriote” (21–25) is a tribute to Tatton-Brown’s work on Cypriot sculpture. Hermary focuses on a collection of sixth-and fifth-century bc statuettes and reliefs (votive and funerary) that [End Page 181] have been interpreted as parent-children groups, a corpus “trop négligé de la plastique chypriote à l’époque des royaumes” (21). That this is clearly a corpus deserving of further research is illustrated by Hermary’s re-evaluation of the iconography, provenances and inspirations for these pieces. He demonstrates that, although some may indeed be family groups, there are alternative interpretations for others (e.g., a priest and servant, 21–22, Fig. 1), and that the subject seems to have had a regional social significance connected to the royal families (24).

The remaining essays take us into the Bronze Age. Lindy Crewe’s “Feasting with the Dead? Tomb 66 at Enkomi” (26–47), is a re-examination of one particular tomb at that site in light of the fuller contextual information now available as a result of subsequent archaeological missions at the site, the publication of the Enkomi notebooks and the Cyprus Digitization Project...


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