Unknownabout 480 B.C.

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

A warrior's head decorates the upper portion of this prometopidion, a piece of armor that protected a horse's forehead. The warrior's eyes are inlaid with ivory and amber; the elaborate Chalkidian helmet he wears has cheek pieces in the form of rams' heads. The lower portion of the armor is decorated with the head of the monstrous Gorgon. The warrior and Gorgon, standard decoration for prometopidia, were subjects that correlated with the armor's function. The image of the warrior symbolized the armor's power to protect its wearer, and the head of the Gorgon warded off evil and danger.

The small holes running around the edge of the prometopidion allowed a leather backing to be sewn onto the bronze for cushioning; the larger holes were for attachment to the bridle.


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