Palatine Museum

Antefix with female head

This clay antefix—a decorative element placed at the ends of temple roofs—takes the form of a female face with rather marked features: hair arranged in finger-waves to frame the face; arched eyebrows painted in black; elongated eyes, large and black, with thick lashes; full lips colored with light red paint. Judging by its similarity with other roof tiles of this type, the antefix can dated to the 6th century BC, in a transitional period between the Ionian and Attic styles. In this period in Italy, antefixes with female heads are normally linked with the worship of female deities associated with the family and can be interpreted as members of the deity’s retinue if not the deity herself. This piece is on display at the Palatine Museum and is part of the museum’s accessibility route: next to the original is a 3D reproduction available for all visitors to explore.