The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 29, 2024

Gorgoneion Plaque

Gorgoneion Plaque

c. 525–475 BCE
Overall: 6.9 x 6.9 cm (2 11/16 x 2 11/16 in.)
Location: 102D Pre-Roman

Did You Know?

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


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.
  • {{cite web|title=Gorgoneion Plaque|url=false|author=|year=c. 525–475 BCE|access-date=29 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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