This marble head of a maiden, slightly under life size, was possibly once part of a statue dedicated in a sanctuary. Its findspot suggests that it was a votive to Athena erected in the sanctuary of the goddess. The liveliness of the face is accentuated by the headscarf, which covers the hair and ears and thus focuses attention on the facial features. The scarf is folded in half, its upper layer falling down the neck and likely down the back. Other such veiled heads, found primarily in Miletus and Samos, are likewise characterized by the same slight bulge over the ears – as if padded with folded fabric or with the girl’s own hair. The modelling of both the face and the veil is soft, the transition between them elided. The girl’s rounded, slightly bulging eyes are framed by almond-shaped lids. Like the mouth, which is small and curves upward into an easy smile, the eyes too lend the face an air of serenity. Marked asymmetries in the cheeks, mouth, and positioning of the eyes accentuate the remarkably lifelike appearance. Carved between 540 and 530 BC, this head represents the high point in the depiction of women by Milesian artists.


  • Title: A pretty Milesian maiden
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: Ca. 540–530 BC
  • Location: Found east of the pronaos of the Temple to Athena in Miletus
  • Physical Dimensions: h21 cm
  • Type: Statue
  • Medium: White marble
  • Inv.-No.: Sk 1631
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-814319
  • External link: Altes Museum, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Verlag Philipp von Zabern / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Kun. || Photo: © b p k - || Photo Agency / Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Jürgen Liepe
  • Collection: Antikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz

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