Publication Date



In the study of the Hellenistic period in Babylon, cross-cultural interactions between Greeks and native Babylonians have been primarily interpreted using colonialist theories of Hellenisation, domination, and cultural isolation. This paper finds, however, that such theories cannot adequately explain the types of cross-cultural combinations seen in the archaeological record of female Hellenistic Babylonian terracotta figurines. The forms and functions of these terracotta figurines were substantially altered and combined throughout the Hellenistic period, resulting in Greek- Babylonian multicultural figurines as well as figurines that exhibited new features used exclusively in Hellenistic Babylonia. In order to facilitate a greater understanding of the full complexity of these Greek–Babylonian interactions, a new interpretation of cross–cultural interaction in Hellenistic Babylon is developed in this paper. This Social Networks model provides an alternative framework for approaching both how a hybrid material culture of terracotta figurines was developed and how Hellenistic Babylon became a multicultural society.

Document Type



Figurines, statues, miniature, clay, terracotta, Babylon, Ancient Near East, Hellenistic, Greek


Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Classical Archaeology and Art History | Near Eastern Languages and Societies



Oxford Journal of Archaeology