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Votive right ear, Roman, 200 BCE-100 CE

Votive offerings were presented to a god, either in the hope of a cure or as thanks for one. They were made in the shape of the afflicted body part – in this case a person’s ears. They may have been experiencing deafness or infection. Made from bronze, the ears are now coated with chemical compounds formed from corrosion (called bronze disease), which gives them their green appearance. The use of bronze may indicate a wealthy owner as most votives were made from terracotta. (A634919 and A634920 shown together).

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Glossary: ear

The organ of hearing; the external ear

Glossary: votive offering

Objects or monuments donated by an individual for a public place or shrine. The object is usually given in gratitude for deliverance from distress.