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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Temple of Athena at Priene, Female Head

The temple of Athena Polias at Priene and the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos were by the same architect, Pytheos. The scale and character of this female head from Priene is similar to the colossal dynastic portraits that were set up on the nearby and slightly earlier Mausoleum. This close resemblance suggests that this head is probably a portrait of one of the female members of Mausolos’s family, possibly his sister and successor, Ada, who ruled until 323 BCE.

Red pigment survives in the hair of the original, which may have been gilded, indicating that the unusual snail-shell curls do not represent an actual hairstyle but a gold diadem

Bluish marble
Location of Original: 

London, British Museum 1151


Smith : Catalogue of British Museum Sculpture II (1900), 153, pl. XXI
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 94, no.513
Walker: Greek and Roman Portraits, 95

c.350-300 BCE

From the Temple of Athena Polias at Priene

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