On the basis of a corpus currently numbering 352 graves from 17 Archaic and Classical necropoli of the Mediterranean zone, an attempt is made here to define and to understand the place of terracotta animals within grave furniture. What is the percentage of these figurines, in comparison not only with the other terracotta types, but also with the other offerings? What are the most commonly attested species? And how do we explain the relationship of such figurines to the dead? The hypothesis proposed here suggests that it would be interesting to continue these researches: firstly, from an iconographical point of view, it would be interesting to take into consideration all the terracotta types, in order to establish the role of these offerings within the grave, and secondly, from a chronological point of view, it would be worth adding to the corpus material from the Hellenistic necropoli, so allowing comparisons to be made with the previous era.
Funeral offerings, iconography, symbolic images, fertility, education, social status.