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Faience head of Arsinoe II

Faience head of Arsinoe II From Naukratis, Egypt, 3rd century BC

 

Height: 6.000 cm

GR 1888.6-1.38 (Vases K 7)

Room 22: Alexander the Great

    Faience head of Arsinoe II

    From Naukratis, Egypt, 3rd century BC

    A Ptolemaic queen

    This small faience head of a woman has a melon coiffure and wears a floral wreath, pendants and earrings. The features of the beautifully modelled head are so closely parallelled in portraits on faience oinochoai and coins that it is possible to identify it as a portrait of the Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt, Arsinoe II (reigned 278-270 BC), wife and sister of Ptolemy II Philadelphos.

    From the time of Ptolemy II (285-246 BC) onwards, the Hellenistic Greek rulers of Egypt were worshipped as deities in their own lifetimes. This portrait head probably belonged to a statuette of the Queen that was once dedicated at a sanctuary in her honour.

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    On display: Room 22: Alexander the Great

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