The kouroi of Delphi: Kleobis and Biton or the Dioscuroi

The kouroi of Delphi: Kleobis and Biton or the Dioscuroi, 
© Ephorate of Antiquities of Phocis, Ministry of Culture and Sports

The two monumental archaic statues were discovered during the archaeological excavations of 1893-4 close to the Treasury of the Athenians. The two young men, probably originally standing one next to the other, are naked, in the kouros type, and look very much alike. Their left foot is stepping forward, whereas their hands are bent at the elbows, touching the thighs with tightly closed fists. The body and the anatomic details look dynamic. The hair forms spiral curls over the forefront and hangs in wavy tresses on the shoulders and the back. The large, almond-shaped eyes are crowned by arched eyebrows, whereas the faces bear an archaic smile. According to the inscription partially preserved on the plinth of one of the statues, they were made by the Argive sculptor Polymedes and constituted an ex-voto of the Argives to Apollo. The date suggested is ca. 580 B.C. They are considered a typical specimen of the archaic sculpture of the Peloponnese.