Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Sacrificing Woman
Work Type
statuette, sculpture
3rd-2nd century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Europe
Hellenistic period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Leaded bronze
Cast, lost-wax process
5.7 x 3.6 x 1.3 cm (2 1/4 x 1 7/16 x 1/2 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Leaded Bronze:
Cu, 69.17; Sn, 5.94; Pb, 24.35; Zn, 0.007; Fe, 0.13; Ni, 0.03; Ag, 0.04; Sb, 0.11; As, 0.19; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.024; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is a very uneven lumpy green with occasional voids in the porous metal. Gold-colored material is embedded on the surface, in the corrosion layers, and in a dark greenish-black resinous layer around the feet, which was applied post excavation, possibly as restoration material.

The statuette is porous but stable. The object is also more corroded in areas where more cold working was done, such as the head. It was roughly cast, and some cold working for surface details was done after casting.

Carol Snow and Nina Vinogradskaya (submitted 2002)

Miss Elizabeth Gaskell Norton, Boston, MA and Miss Margaret Norton, Cambridge, MA (by 1920), gift; to the Fogg Art Museum, 1920.

Note: The Misses Norton were daughters of Charles Elliot Norton (1827-1908).
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Misses Norton
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This stylistic, flat female figurine stands frontally; there are very few details of drapery or anatomy (1). The facial features shown—eyes, nose, and mouth—are large and irregular. A row of raised diamond shapes around the brow indicates hair, and a peaked head covering (a headdress, crown, or possibly the edge of the mantle) is apparent. The figure wears a sleeveless chiton, belted at the waist, with the mantle pulled around the body. The right hand is extended holding a flat disc shape, either a patera for libations or bread, indicated by an X-pattern. The left hand is held close to the body and holds another object, perhaps a small container or other offering, as seen on other figurines. The back is flat and featureless except for three diagonal lines, probably indicating folds of the mantle.


1. Compare M. Bentz, Etruskische Votivbronzen des Hellenismus (Florence, 1992) 102-105, type 22, pl. 30; F. Jurgeit, Die etruskischen und italischen Bronzen sowie Gegenstände aus Eisen, Blei, und Leder im Badischen Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Terra Italia 5 (Pisa, 1999) 84-85, nos. 114-15, pl. 37; A. Naso, I bronzi etruschi e italici del Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, Kataloge vor- und frühgeschichtlicher Altertümer 33 (Mainz, 2003) 35-36, nos. 43-45, pl. 20; and A. Caravale, Museo Claudio Faina di Orvieto: Vasellame (Milan, 2006) 93-104, nos. 98-112.

Lisa M. Anderson

Exhibition History

32Q: 2540 Renaissance, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/18/2018 - 11/15/2018

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at