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.