The book presents a broad survey of Greek votive terracotta figurines, a class of votives where previous scholarship has mainly consisted of research in specific sites and collections. They have traditionally been interpreted as inexpensive and inconspicuous votives for everyday use, but this study questions whether this is in fact the case.
By introducing the theoretical model of chaîne opératoire for a life cycle study of the votive figurines the book moves through the stages of production, distribution, use and discard of the votives, the latter both in the sense of practical discard and in the end of use. The study is based on a selection of case studies and surveys of relevant material, allowing for in-depth analyses of the terracottas in those life stages of shifting contextual interactions.
The approach furthers new knowledge on several levels, such as the value of the terracottas, their suitability and their popularity as dedications, their iconography and symbolism, the general votive practice, and the end of the terracotta practice. As such, the book is relevant for all who seek insights on terracotta figurines, votive offerings, ritual practice, as well as those interested in archaeological methodology, theory and contexts.