Terracotta antefix (roof tile)

Period: Archaic

Date: 6th century B.C.

Culture: Greek, South Italian, Tarentine

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H.: 8 x 10 1/2 x 1 1/4 in. (20.3 cm)

Classification: Terracottas

Credit Line: Fletcher Fund, 1926

Accession Number: 26.60.73

Description

This terracotta antefix with the head of Medusa originally decorated the edge of a roof of an Archaic Greek temple or civic building, possibly near Taranto. Terracotta was a popular medium for architectural details on Greek buildings in southern Italy, and the carved details on this antefix originally would have been brightly painted. The head of Medusa, a frequently featured device, would have been appropriate along the facade of a building, warding off any approaching evil.

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