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Final Farewell: The Culture of Death and the Afterlife

The Spectacle of Death: Funerary Customs in Ancient Greece and Italy

back to Greece & Italy section homeCineray Urncineray amphoraLekythos (pot)Mask of MedusaSiren FigurineRhytonHydriaAutumn statuestele of boyfunerary statuehead from grave stele to Suicide in Greece & Rome section

Mask of MedusaMask of Medusa

The gorgon Medusa was particularly known for turning hapless victims to stone with her monstrous appearance. Her deadly gaze could be protective, however, and her image was thus placed on shields, armor, temple façades, and in graves. The intact condition of the mask suggests it came from a grave; holes indicate it was attached to something. Wooden coffins from Alexandria are decorated with similar masks.

Mask of Medusa
Greek, late 4th c. B.C.E.
South Italy
Terracotta
(81.266)
Weinberg Fund

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