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Terracotta statuette of Europa on the bull, Boeotia, 5th century BC Chr.

As a coroplasty are mostly antique statuettes made of baked clay ( terracotta ), which have a divine or human (mostly female) shape. The name is derived from Kore , the word for girl , after which a female robed statue was named in Greek sculpture, especially in the archaic period.

Numerous human statuettes are already known from the Minoan culture . The ancient Greek terracotta small sculptures achieved a high quality of representation, and efficient workshops existed in many places in the Mediterranean area. In classical antiquity, the centers were in the Boeotia region with the most important city for coroplatics in the region, Tanagra , and cities such as Myrina and Taranto . Since the 5th century BC Figures were mass-produced using one or more hollow molds.

Large sculptures were also made on various occasions, but the most important objects made as coroplasty are small round figures that were pressed in the mold, modeled from free hand and, after firing, painted with a white primer and in delicate shades of color. Some seem to have served as toys or as room decorations. The majority, however, were probably created for purposes of cult . They were votive gifts to the gods and the dead, which is why they are mostly found in graves (see Tanagra figure ).

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