Votive mouth and teeth, Roman, 200 BCE-200 CE

Made:
200 BCE -200 CE in Roman Empire
maker:
Unknown
Votive mouth, showing teeth, terracotta, probably Roman, 200BC-200AD Full view, graduated matt black perspec background.

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Votive mouth, showing teeth, terracotta, probably Roman, 200BC-200AD Full view, graduated matt black perspec background.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Votive mouth, showing teeth, terracotta, Roman, 200BC-200AD

Objects like this were left at healing sanctuaries and other religious sites as offerings to gods such as Asklepios, the Greco-Roman god of medicine. It was intended either to indicate the part of the body that needed help or as thanks for a cure.

Made from bronze or terracotta, as in this case, a large range of different votive body parts were made and offered up in their thousands. Although it originated in earlier cultures, this practice became very popular in Roman Italy – particularly between the 400s and 100s BCE. The donor of this votive may have been experiencing toothache.

Details

Category:
Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
A636148
type:
votive offering
taxonomy: