The head of Heracles. Obverse of a silver tetradrachm minted in Babylon during the reign of Alexander the Great. Now in the Cabinet des Médailles, Paris. Photo credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
This is a mixture of Hellenstic and Sicilian art. It shows a bride with her maids before her wedding. The colours are very different from the ‘usual’ terracotta vases from the Greek period. 39.4cm high (15 ½ inch.)
Greek/Sicilian, Hellenistic Period, Centuripe, 3rd - 2nd century AD
Far from mere curiosities, the black-head scarabs in fact form an important link in the transmission of the image of black people between Egypt and the nascent world of classical Greece. In the late archaic period of Greek history, when the Naukratis heads were made, fuller historical and artistic evidence offers useful insight into the process of transmission of the image of black people to other lands and cultures.