Wax infant votives in Cyprus: ancient and modern parallels

Maureen Carroll is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Sheffield. Her recent research has focused on infancy and earliest childhood in the Roman world, and she is currently working on a project entitled ‘Mater Matuta and Related Goddesses: Guaranteeing Maternal Fertility and Infant Survival in Early Roman Italy’. In this post she discusses…

Shake it till you make it: could votives have been used as rattles?

Kristel Henquet is a research masters student in archaeology and ancient history at Free University Amsterdam/University of Amsterdam & Leiden University. She specialises in votive practices and religious landscapes in Southern Italy and in this post she shares some of the research she has recently conducted at the Royal Dutch Institute in Rome. When I…

When is a womb not a womb?

Helen King is Professor Emerita in Classical Studies at the Open University. She has a particular interest in midwifery and gynaecology and has published widely on ancient medicine and its reception, as well as gender and the history of the body. Is it time to revisit the identification of votive body parts? Specifically, votive wombs;…

Things that matter(-ed): A biography of anatomical votive reliefs

  Anne-Lieke Brem, is currently a Masters student at the University of Groningen, studying both Archaeology and Cultural Geography. Her recent research focuses on the social landscape of illness and disease in ancient Greece (500-200 BC). In this article for The Votives Project she reflects on how this project has prompted her to think more critically about the biography and…

New book on ancient anatomical votives!

Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future is a new edited volume just published by Routledge as part of a new series on ‘Medicine and the Body in Antiquity’. The volume, edited by Jane Draycott (University of Glasgow) and Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University / The Votives Project), is based on a…

Votive visions of the body

At the risk of over-sharing, I’ve had a few health issues over the last year (I’m fine!) that have made me think in new ways about how we understand what ancient anatomical votives might tell us about how people understood their bodies and their relationship with divine healers. In the ancient world it seems to…

Tabitha Moses installation view

The Go Between, by Tabitha Moses

Often, on holiday, I seek out the sacred wells, the ribbon-tied trees and the chapels full of objects and notes asking for help or giving thanks. Out of curiosity, plain nosiness; I’m drawn to the glimpse into another’s life, or death. Why is that? Do I find comfort that someone else has it worse than…