Gorgoneion Plaque

Gorgoneion Plaque

c. 525–475 BC

Terracotta

Overall: 6.9 x 6.9 cm (2 11/16 x 2 11/16 in.)

Gift of Robert Haber 1996.34

Location

Did you know?

The gorgoneion, or disembodied head of Medusa, may have served as protection against evils.

Description

Probably meant to decorate the outside of a wooden coffin or other tomb furniture, this small mold-made terracotta plaque is one of two in the collection (click here for the other). Both bear gorgoneia, or frontal Gorgon faces, with snaky hair, sharp teeth, and protruding tongue, perhaps meant to ward off evils. A bit of fingerprint survives on the reverse, likely from its ancient maker.

See also
Collection: 
GR - South Italy
Department: 
Greek and Roman Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Terracotta
Credit line: 
Gift of Robert Haber

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