Bronze head of Augustus


British Museum

British Museum

This head was originally part of an over life-size statue erected near Egypt’s southern frontier, probably at Syene. The rival Kingdom of Kush, in what is now Sudan, challenged Roman control of Egypt’s southern border, capturing statues such as this one in 24 BC. In near-perfect condition, the head was buried as a trophy in front of the threshold of a small temple at the Kushite capital at Meroe. The defeated enemy, represented by the Roman emperor, would have been trodden on when people entered the temple.

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  • Title: Bronze head of Augustus
  • Date Created: -27
  • Location: Meroe, Sudan
  • Physical Dimensions: 46.2 x 26.5 x 29.4 cm
  • Registration number: 1911,0901.1
  • Material: bronze, calcite, glass and plaster
  • Copyright: The Trustees of the British Museum