Great Lady Offerant

3rd century BC

Museo Arqueológico Nacional

Museo Arqueológico Nacional
Madrid, Spain

This was discovered in 1870 and acquired in 1873 to be installed in the Museum. It is a sculpture carved from a single block, depicted frontally in an offering pose. It is the most prominent piece from the group of offerant ladies from the Cerro sanctuary, authentic votive offerings that offer a varied and idealised vision of the social elite. The exclusive attributes seen in both the style of dress and especially in the jewellery are hierarchical symbols of a divine nature. The plaits that fall on both sides and the elaborate hairpiece finished off with buns that frame the face allude to the depiction of a young woman. Its dimensions, close to life size, show that this was an important person who was part of the aristocracy, in her presentation to the divinity, as part of an age-related rite of passage. This is supported by the presence of the goblet, intended to hold a sacred liquid as an offering associated with libation, prayers and rites of passage. Recent analysis has detected traces of polychrome, applied directly to the stone in pink colours, different shades of brown and scattered specks of blue in a low proportion.


  • Title: Great Lady Offerant
  • Date Created: 3rd century BC
  • Provenance: Cerro de los Santos (Montealegre del Castillo, Albacete, Spain)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Museo Arqueológico Nacional
  • External Link: CERES
  • Medium: Limestone
  • Cultural Context: Second Iron Age (Iberian Culture)

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps