Height: 14.500 cm
Gift of T. Rook
P&EE 1981 11-2 1
Room 49: Roman Britain
Statuette of a mother-goddess
Roman Britain, 2nd century AD
from a Roman cemetery at Welwyn Grange, Hertfordshire
This statuette was made in a mould from a fine white clay called pipeclay. It shows a mother-goddess sitting in a basketwork chair suckling a baby.
In an age without sterile conditions, any substitute for mother's milk, other than that of a wet-nurse, was potentially harmful, if not lethal. Nursing was critical, and Roman medical authors recommended that the child should not be weaned before the age of eighteen months to two years.