After the development of the secondary economic sector from the middle of the 4th millennium onwards, women continued to play a significant part in the productive process. The depiction of female figures in anthropomorphic rhyta, such as Myrtos Goddess, underlines the importance of the role of women in the productive and reproductive process.
In the sphere of ideology, the interaction of clan relations found vivid expression in art and religious customs. It is characteristic in this respect that Cycladic figurines render the female in stereotypical form with folded arms, whereas male figurines exhibit a typological variety embracing specific social roles. This is an artistic convention that reflects the existence of an archetypal female class, together with a male perspective determined by secular considerations. The abundance of female figurines, with their reference to female fertility, probably symbolises the importance of women in the principles that underpinned communal life.
Dr Andonis Vasilakis