Lady of Ibiza. Protective divinity

Dama de Ibiza Pulse para ampliar Dama de Ibiza. Sala 15, vitrina 15.3

ProtohistorySalto de línea

The archaeologists call Punics the Phoenicians of the western Mediterranean colonies who, after the fall of the metropolis of Tyre in 575 BC, came under the influence of Carthage, the most important Phoenician colony in North Africa. Among the novelties of this new situation, the change of the funeral ritual stands out, as can be seen in the necropolis of Puig de Molins, in Ibiza, the old Ebusus, where inhumation prevail over cremation and where the so-called Lady of Ibiza was found.

It is a clay female figure that was mould-cast in a local workshop of Ebusus with a very original plastic with Greek influences. It has an aperture in the back for holding it in a vertical position. In head, tunic and sandals, is profusely decorated with plant motifs and has been dated according to stylistic criteria between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC, thus forming part of the Punic culture.

We do not know if the Lady, like many other terracottas found in the same necropolis, were merely offerings or if she they represented Tanit, the Punic goddess of fertility and rebirth who protected the dead in the afterlife. This identification is enhanced by the profuse vegetal ornamentation of palmettes and volutes, as symbols of victory against the death and of the rebirth. The same meaning has the effigy of a Gorgon at the bottom of his tunic which represents the paralyzing face of death. However, according to another hypothesis it may represent the deceased woman, richly dressed and praying, transformed into a deity who welcomes and transports her to the Afterlife.