An Analysis of the Identity of Idols in Phrygian Culture

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ART-SANAT, vol.17, pp.451-473, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/artsanat.2022.17.930968
  • Journal Name: ART-SANAT
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.451-473
  • Keywords: Phrygian Region, Phrygian, Idol, Mother Goddess Matar, Paredros
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Derived from the Greek-eidolon and the Latin -idolum, idols, meaning image or visual, stretching back to the Prehistoric Period, are schematized abstract depictions that have found themselves a place within different cultures during different periods, are thought to depict a god or goddess, and generally show a head and body, sometimes with a neck, arms, face, and other organs. The group of portrayals with a round head and rectangular body found within the borders of Phrygia, in the strata dated to the Phrygian Period determined to be Phrygian, are known as idols. It has been accepted by many researchers that the idol depictions are abstract representations of the Mother Goddess, Matar, who takes center stage in the cultic monuments and Old Phrygian inscriptions of Phrygian religion. However, in addition to the single idols found in the aforementioned area, the presence of idols with two collateral heads on a single body or separate but collateral heads and bodies bring about the question of which god or goddess they represent. In this article, we will touch on the reflections of the idols thought to be abstract depictions of the actively worshipped Phrygian mother goddess in the cultures previous and after Phrygia with archeologic and epigraphic finds and attempt to determine the identity of double and multiple idols.