Statue of Nola (NA)

The card was edited by Elvira Visciola

Statue of Nola (NA)

The card was edited by Elvira Visciola

It is a small anthropomorphic statuette in coarse clay, depicting a female character in an upright position with her arms outstretched, one of which has her hand mutilated and remains only up to the elbow, where there is a hole probably because the missing hand. The fingers of the present hand are indicated by simple incisions. The two breasts appear in relief on the bust and at the height of the pubis there is an incision of about 13 mm. practiced on raw clay; the furrow continues to the back, where there is a small hole between the legs which probably served to fit a support to keep the statuette upright. The legs are slightly apart, while the feet are missing probably due to old breaks. Her face has eyes, nose and mouth roughly made with a pointed instrument, while on the sides of the head there are two protuberances, perhaps to represent the ears or a complex hairstyle. On the back side of the head a long tail or plait descends to the center of the back. The statuette is interpreted as a protective deity linked to a domestic cult, a hypothesis strengthened by the place of discovery, inside a hut, positioned in a space between the external wall and the roof of the house, it lay belly down on the beaten earth and covered by the weight of the collapse of part of the wall; next to the statuette were also found two miniature vases, a small cup with a handle in black clay and a small support in the shape of an hourglass, elements that suggest the existence of a domestic altar. The discovery of the figurines inside houses is not very common in Italy during the early Bronze Age, but it is possible to find other examples towards the late Bronze Age, used as protective spirits of the house, such as the specimens of Bologna-Villa Casarini , Coppa Nevigata, Rocavecchia and others (P. Cassola Guida, 2013).

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Statue of Nola (NA)


Female figurine


The circumstances of the discovery made it possible to date some carbons and bone remains of sheep, goats and the dog found in hut 8 by radiocarbon, therefore the event of the Vesuvius eruption was established in a period that oscillates between 1949 and 1767 BC cal.

Location of discovery

The figurine was found in the prehistoric village of Nola – Croce del Papa – Province of Naples



Environmental context


exhibits exhibited

The finds from the prehistoric village of Nola – Croce del Papa are kept in the Historical Archaeological Museum of Nola, in Via Senatore Cocozza 2, tel. 081-5127184

State of conservation

The figurine is in excellent condition, has some old breaks, some already restored at the time

Legal condition

State property


  1. Claude Albore Livadie – “A first Pompeii: the Early Bronze Age village of Nola-Croce del Papa (Palma Campania phase)” - In Antiques – no. 76 - 2002 - pp. 941-942;
  2. Claude Albore Livadie – “Nola, a Pompei du Bronze ancien 1800-1700 environment before JC” - In L'age du bronze en Mediterranee. Recent searches – edited by Dominique Garcia – 2011 – pp. 65-82;
  3. Claude Albore Livadie, Mark Pearce, Matteo Delle Donne and Natascia Pizzano – “The effects of the Avellino Pumice eruption on the population of the Early Bronze age Campanian plain (Southern Italy)” - In Quaternary International – no. 499 - 2019 - pp.205-220;
  4. Claude Albore Livadie, Emilio Castaldo, Nicola Castaldo and Giuseppe Vecchio – “Sur l'architecture des cabanes du Bronze ancien final de Nola (Naples-Italie)” - In Actes du Congres National del societes historiques and scientifiques – no. 127 - 2002 - pp. 487-512;
  5. Paola Cassola Guide – “Anthropomorphic clay figurines in the Italian Final Bronze Age” - In Studies in Mediterranean Archeology for Mario Benzi – edited by Giampaolo Graziadio, Riccardo Guglielmino, Valeria Lenuzza and Salvatore Vitale – 2013 – pp. 239-248;
  6. Elena Soriano and Claude Albore Livadie – “The Palma Campania facies: internal cultural homogeneity and circulation of ceramic models" - In Facies and cultures in the Italian Bronze Age? – Rome 2015 – pp. 231-254;
  7. Claude Albore Livadie and Giuseppe Vecchio – Nola – Croce del Papa: a village buried by the Vesuvian eruption of the Pomici di Avellino – Naples 2020.
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