Terracotta antefix, satyr's head and female head

Etruscan, 400-300 BC
Found at Cerveteri (ancient Caere), Lazio, Italy

Out on the tiles

This painted head was actually a terracotta antefix, a type of tile. It was used as a decorative attachment on the roofs of temples and other buildings. The antefix masked the semicircular end of the cover-tiles along the eaves of the roof. Architectural terracottas like this were made in moulds from coarse, unrefined clay, coated with a light-coloured slip and painted after firing.

The female head has red-brown hair and wears a diadem, a kind of broad tiara which has been painted with a design to resemble a garland of leaves. The woman wears large ear-studs, like an Etruscan gold example also in The British Museum.

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More information


O. Brendel, Etruscan art, Pelican History of Art (Yale University Press, 1995)


Height: 35.500 cm

Museum number

GR 1893.6-28.1 (Terracotta B 623);GR 1893.6-28.4 (Terracotta B 634)



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