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Votive female head, Roman, 200 BCE-100 CE

Votive offerings were presented to a god, either in the hope of a cure or as thanks for one. The offerings were made from marble, bronze or terracotta in the shape of the afflicted body part. This terracotta votive shows a female head – the person making the offering may have had chronic headaches. Usually, it is difficult to tell what ailment the person was experiencing or how old they were.

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Glossary: head

The part of the body that contains the brain, organs of sight, hearing, smell and taste.

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.