Fired clay statuette of Europa riding the bull-figure of Zeus, galloping to the right; she sits sidewards on the bull’s back with her legs crossed, holding the veil to the side of the face with the right hand, and the end of the drapery, close to her knee with the left hand; her left elbow rests on a cushion; nude except for the wide transparent bordered veil; hair parted in the middle and drawn back from the face; on the head she wears a diadem from which the long veil descends; the group is placed on a high oval base, representing a rock (?); double mould, open base; back well worked; venthole in the base; pale greenish clay; remnants of lime wash; traces of original pigments, namely blue paint on the veil, pink on flesh, red on the base and black on the borders of the veil and on the bull’s head.
Excavated from a “stone circle between Kunur and Kartari, on the Nilgiris…about six feet in diameter…[in which] a number of weapons and implements were discovered embedded in a thick layer of charcoal…”
These case or box mirrors, constructed just like modern, hinged ladies’ compacts, were very fashionable from the later 5th century into the 4th century. The decoration of the cover was always in repoussé. Frequently there was another disk within this cover with an incised decoration of a mythological figure. The actual mirror is the highly polished top of the bottom half of the box. A loop at the hinge allowed the mirror to be suspended as a wall decoration when not in active use.
This paint box still preserves its original cakes of pigment: one cake each of red (red ocher), blue (Egyptian blue), green (a mixture of Egyptian blue, yellow ocher, and orpiment) and two of black (carbon black, from charcoal). It belonged to Amenemope, who was vizier, or prime minister, under Amenhotep II. Amenemope probably used his paint box for recreation.
Inside some Roman houses, baths, and tombs, multiple layers of slow-drying stucco were applied to rough stone walls and divided into panels that were then painted. While the surface was still damp, fresh stucco was applied and modeled into decorative motifs and figures, which were left white to contrast with the painted background. These two relief panels likely came from the same building. The right panel depicts a seated woman extending her right arm toward a slender griffin (a mythological creature combining a feline body and an avian head) with raised wings. The left panel shows a winged female figure flanked by two deer and standing on a delicate tendril motif.
Despite the delicate nature of the precious gold and ivory materials, the stance of this small figurine conveys power and strength. It closely resembles ceramic statuettes identified as goddesses or priestesses found in the sanctuary space known as the “Pillar Shrine” within the Minoan palace of Cnossus, Crete. The snakes adorning the figure are symbolic of fertility and regenerative powers.
Scratched onto a wax layer, the lettering on this early 2nd century wooden writing tablet has survived. It is a deed of sale for a young female slave called Fortunata, described as ‘healthy and not liable to run away’. She cost 600 silver denarii - 2 years’ pay for a legionary soldier.
This gives us a rare glimpse into government staffing methods and the lives of Roman slaves: they could earn money and own slaves themselves. Fortunata was bought by a slave, called Vegetus Montanus, who worked in the treasury and who was, in turn, owned by another treasury slave.