c. 500-475 BC
Overall: 35 cm (13 3/4 in.)
Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1926.538
Pan, the goat-headed god, is often called a son of Hermes, but sources disagree.
Initially identified as a horse head, this fragmentary sculpture, once painted reddish-brown, has a beard, indicating that it depicts a goat. Its large size, however, together with its neck position and unusual round eye, have all prompted questions. Was the head broken from a rearing goat? Or did it represent Pan, the rustic shepherd god often depicted as half-man, half-goat? If Pan, some scholars have connected it with a fifth-century BC Athenian sanctuary erected to thank the god for aid in battle. An alleged provenance near the Athenian Acropolis supported this idea, but scientific tests suggest otherwise.
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