Votive offering in the form of human teeth

Made:
200-200

Votive 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
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A634937
type:
votive tooth
taxonomy:
  • votive offering
  • votive figure
  • votive head
  • votive face
credit:
Loan, Wellcome Trust