Panathenaic amphora, ca. 530 b.c.; Archaic
Attributed to the Euphiletos Painter
This Panathenaic amphora would have been filled with oil from the sacred olive groves in Attica, and would have been awarded as a prize to some worthy victor in one of the Panathenaic games held in Athens every four years.
Mask, 1st century b.c.–1st century a.d.
Lifesize hammered masks are the largest objects produced in gold in the ancient Americas. While most masks were presumably made as burial offerings, this example, with its pierced eyes, cutout mouth, and additional holes for tying at the sides, could have been worn by an individual during life in a ritual or ceremony before being placed with his material wealth in a tomb. The mask comes from the Calima River region in southwestern Colombia, where abundant alluvial gold deposits prompted a distinguished goldworking tradition that lasted for at least 2,000 years.
Head of a Ptolemaic queen, Hellenistic, ca. 270–250 b.c.
It probably represents a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty—the succession of Macedonian Greeks who ruled Egypt from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. until the annexation of Egypt by Rome and the suicide of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. Recently it has been identified as the head of Arsinoë II, who ruled with her brother, Ptolemy II, from 278 B.C. until her death in 270 B.C. The queen was part of a dynastic ruler cult during her life. And, after her death, her brother made her an independent deity. She was worshiped as an Egyptian goddess in association with Isis and also as a Greek goddess, with her own sanctuaries and festivals. This strongly idealized head, which resembles classical images of Hera and Demeter, was probably associated with that cult. It presents the queen in a highly idealized manner based on the refined classical style developed in Greece during the fourth century B.C.