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Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily, by Maria Lucia Ferruzza
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This is the repository for Ancient Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily in the J. Paul Getty Museum by Maria Lucia Ferruzza, published in January 2016 by the J. Paul Getty Museum. It is available online at and may be downloaded free of charge in multiple formats.

About the Book

In the ancient world, terracotta sculpture was ubiquitous. Readily available and economical—unlike stone suitable for carving—clay allowed artisans to craft figures of remarkable variety and expressiveness. Terracottas from South Italy and Sicily attest to the prolific coroplastic workshops that supplied sacred and decorative images for sanctuaries, settlements, and cemeteries. Sixty terracottas are investigated here by noted scholar Maria Lucia Ferruzza, comprising a selection of significant types from the Getty’s larger collection—life-size sculptures, statuettes, heads and busts, altars, and decorative appliqués. In addition to the comprehensive catalogue entries, the publication includes a guide to the full collection of over one thousand other figurines and molds from the region by Getty curator of antiquities Claire L. Lyons.

Using this Repository

While stable, the structure and code of this repository are very much in a prototype stage. This is the first in series of multiformat publications using a new toolchain being built with Middleman, an open-source static site generator. Middleman and the other associated open-source software used here allow us to produce each format (e.g., PDF, EPUB, MOBI) from a single set of source files. Our aim is to use open web technologies and plain-text file formats to ensure the book's longevity and portability, while still achieving a high level of design and interactivity.

Getty Publications is currently at work on the second such catalogue, with more in the pipeline. Already we are refining our approach and rebuilding large portions of the code—all with an eye toward releasing a stable, development-friendly version for broad use within the next year. Until then, making use of this existing project as the basis for new work is not recommended.

The content, on the other hand, is very stable. The research presented here is the culmination of nearly a decade of effort. It has been thoroughly edited and peer-reviewed and meets the same standards the rest of our publications do. We are dedicated to maintaining the book for years to come at the permanent URL,, and in its various formats and incarnations. For any updates to the book, we will be following something between an app and traditional book publication model. Updates will only be made in regulated chunks as formal revisions and new editions and will always be thoroughly documented here in the repository, as well as in the Revision History included with each of the book's many formats.

The primary content pieces of the book can be found in the data and source directories. The master branch represents the current, published edition at all times, and the revisions branch, when present, will show changes currently under consideration. We invite you to submit suggestions or corrections via pull request on the revisions branch, by posting an issue, or by emailing us at


Ancient Terracottas © 2016 J. Paul Getty Trust. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Proteus Middleman © 2014–2015 thoughtbot, inc. Proteus Middleman is free software and may be redistributed under the terms specified in the license.

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