Give to Receive

Etruscan votive terracotta head of a woman with wreaths and jewelry. Caere, Etruria, circa 300s BCE. 8-6713.

This terracotta head dates to the fourth century BCE. It portrays a young woman from the neck up, wearing an intricate braided hairstyle, crown of leaves, cluster earrings, and a beaded necklace, that originally came with pendants. Along with hundreds of other such maidens, this press-molded face came to the Hearst Museum from a sanctuary in Etruscan Caere. Terracotta votives from Etruria are varied in their form and difficult to pinpoint to specific cults, but many of them concern themes of fertility, nature, youth, healing, care, and female beauty. Worshippers would bring gifts like this when they visited shrines and sanctuaries, often to request favors from the deities.

-Sofia Sylvestri

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