Greek Archaic Sculpture for Kids - 800-500 BC - Kouroi and Korai

Archaic Greek Sculpture

As the Greeks came out of the Dark Ages, they began to produce life-size stone sculpture for the first time since the Stone Age.

The Greeks learned how to make big stone statues from the Egyptians. At this time many Greek men were working in Egypt as soldiers, and so they had a chance to see Egyptian statues and learn how they were made.

One Egyptian technique is to have a triangle for the face and two upside-down triangles for the hair. This makes the hair help support the neck, which otherwise might be too thin to hold up the head.
Another Egyptian idea is to have one foot a little in front of the other, which also helps the statue to stand up and not fall over. One difference is that the Greeks always made their statues nude (without clothes), while the Egyptian statues always wore clothes. This is because the Greeks thought that men's bodies were sacred and that the gods liked to see them. But their statues of women wore clothes.

peplos kore

Peplos Kore (Athens)

Archaic statues of men are called "kouros" (KOOR-ohs) which means "boy" and the ones of girls are called "kore" (CORE-eh) which means "girl".

To find out more about Archaic Greek sculpture, check out these books from or from your library:

Greek Sculpture: The Archaic Period, by John Boardman (reprinted 1985). The standard reference for college students.

The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction, by William R. Biers (1996) This is NOT a children's book, but Biers writes very clearly and has a lot of good pictures.

Greek Art and Archaeology (3rd Edition), by John G. Pedley (2002) This is also NOT a children's book, but it has a lot of good information and is pretty readable. Plus, the author is really an expert in this field.

Stone Age
Bronze Age
Dark Age

Ancient Greek Art
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