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Votive pregnant female, Roman, 100 BCE-200 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 pregnant female terracotta figure, which only shows the torso, suggests that a woman was hoping for the safe delivery of her child – notice how her hands are protecting her body. This votive was reputedly discovered in Suffolk, England, and is said to be of Roman origin.

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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.