It has been suggested that the grooves at the neck and upper right thigh of the present lot may be the result of deliberate damage in antiquity. Some Cycladic figures have been discovered in graves purposefully broken, at the neck and at the knees, with the three parts of the figure then carefully arranged. This sort of damage most likely had a ritual context, though its precise meaning is still unknown. Thimme has suggested that Cycladic female figures 'were conceived as images of divine beings and specifically intended for the grave: the female figures represent a divine mistress of life and death, who will secure for the deceased rebirth in another world' - it is not apparent what benefits would be reaped by deliberately damaging a figure imbued with such potent power (O. Höckmann, 'Cycladic Religion', in J. Thimme (ed.), Art and Culture of the Cyclades, Chicago, 1977, p. 42).