However, as Greek appreciation of human anatomy improved, these kouroi and korai became less rigid and artificial-looking, and more true-to-life, whereas Egyptian sculptors adhered strictly to the rigid hieratic designs laid down by their cultural authorities.
Another distinctly Greek characteristic was that, unlike Egyptian figures, the kouroi had no explicit religious purpose: they might be used as commemorative markers or tombstones, or votive statues, or to portray local heroes like athletes, or to represent the God Apollo or Heracles.
From about 620, the three most common statues were the standing nude youth (kouros, plural kouroi), the standing draped girl (kore, plural korai), and the seated woman.
(The kouros remained popular until about 460.) To begin with, these figurative works - like most other free-standing Greek sculptures from the Archaic era - resembled Egyptian statues in both shape and posture (frontal, wide-shouldered, narrow-waisted, arms hanging close to body, fists clenched and both feet on the ground, left-foot slightly advanced, facial expression limited to a fixed "archaic smile").
What are the Characteristics of Archaic Greek Sculpture? What Happened to Greek Sculpture During the Classical Period?
What is the History of Early Greek Sculpture? Why did Greek Sculpture develop more rapidly during the Archaic Period?
It's worth bearing in mind that the history of sculpture shows a clear correlation between architecture and plastic art: the more buildings that are constructed, the more sculptures are needed.
This occurred in Classical Antiquity, and also in Medieval sculpture (Romanesque/Gothic), Renaissance sculpture (Early and High), Baroque Sculpture (17th century) and Neoclassical sculpture (18th century).
For more about the earliest Archaic styles, see: Daedalic Greek Sculpture (650-600). What are the Most Famous Greek Statues from the Archaic Period? What are the Main Types of Classical Greek Sculpture? What are the Characteristics of Classical Greek Sculpture?Other votive statues stood inside and outside the temple as well as urns, images of sacred animals, and other objects of a sculptural nature.A key feature of the Archaic period was the renewal of commercial contacts and maritime trade links between Greece and the Middle East (especially Egypt, as well as the city-states of Asia Minor), which inspired Greek artists to begin establishing a tradition of monumental marble sculpture.