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Votive offering showing a mother breastfeeding a child, Roman, 300 BCE-100 CE

Votive offerings were given to the gods either in the hope of a cure or as thanks for one and were made in the shape of the afflicted body part. This terracotta figure shows a mother breast feeding her child. The figure may have been given in thanks for the safe delivery of a child. A large number of the votive offerings in the Wellcome collection are in the shape of reproductive organs, reflecting a society that placed great emphasis on fertility but which also ran great risks in pregnancy and childbirth.

Object number:

A634990

Related Themes and Topics

 

Glossary:

Glossary: breast feeding

The process of synthesising milk from the breasts, usually a child from its mother.

Glossary: pregnancy

The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.

Glossary: infertility

No description.

Glossary: childbirth

No description.

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.