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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Head of Hera from Olympia

This head may be part of the cult statue from the temple of Hera at Olympia. It was discovered inside the sanctuary of Hera, and wears the polos, the tall crown, that identifies the goddess. Furthermore it is big enough, about double life-size, to be the image worshipped inside the temple.

The head lacks a right ear, which has led to some speculation that she was intended to be seen in a three-quarter view. The original shows traces of the bright colours that originally decorated the sculpture

Grey limestone
Location of Original: 

Olympia Museum


Purchased in 1884 from the casting establishment of Berlin Museum, but inscribed on the back 1896 or 1898


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 25 (n.8), pl. 8.1
Matz: Geschichte der Griechische Kunst, 203-5
Karo: Personality in Greek Archaic Art, 127-128
Dinsmoor, WB: American Journal of Archaeology XLIX (1945), 74
Hill, DK: Hesperia XIII (1944), 353
Treu, Die Bildwerke von Olympia III (1897), 1-
Reporter: 19 June 1885, 891, no.74
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 21, no.68

c.580 BCE

Found near the Temple of Hera at Olympia

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