Head of Atargatis or Tyche with doves Artist: Unknown

1st century A.D.

Ancient Art

On view, 1st floor, Dura-Europos

Probably depicting the Syrian goddess Atargatis as the Gad (protective spirit) of the city, this relief incorporates elements, such as the doves and mural crown, that might suggest to viewers of different cultural backgrounds associations with the Near Eastern goddess Astarte or the Greek goddesses Aphrodite and Tyche. That this relief might permit different readings is not surprising, given that religious imagery at Dura-Europos often emphasizes shared characteristics among deities from different cultural backgrounds. Made by a local workshop, the sharp linear carving and frontal, wide-eyed features reflect Palmyrene influence.

Medium

Limestone

Dimensions

5 1/8 × 10 1/16 × 1 15/16 in. (13 × 25.5 × 5 cm)

Credit Line

Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos

Accession Number

1935.46

Period

Greco-Roman or Parthian

Classification
Disclaimer

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.

Provenance

Provenance

Excavated by the Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos (block L5 42, Temple of Adonis), present-day Syria, 1928–37; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.
Bibliography
  • Jennifer Chi and Sebastian Heath, eds., Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2011), 53, no. 36, fig. 2–24
  • Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity (Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, 2011), 351, no. 44, pl. 44
  • "Catalogue of the Exhibition 'An Obsession with Fortune: Tyche in Greek and Roman Art'," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1994), 116, no. 55, fig. 7
  • Jerome Jordan Pollitt, "An Obsession with Fortune," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (1994), 23, no. 55, fig. 7
  • Hans Erik Mathiesen, Sculpture in the Parthian Empire : a study in chronology, 2 volumes (Aarhus Denmark: Aarhus Universitetsforlag, 1992), 198–99, no. 175, vol. 1, appendix II, pp.78–80, fig. 55
  • Handbook of the Collections, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1992), 271, ill
  • Christa Bauchenss-Thüriedl, Erika Simon, and Ingrid Krauskopf, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, 8 vols. (Zurich: Artemis, 1981–97), vol. 3, p. 356-57, no. 20; vol. 7, p. 156-57, no. 3, pl. 98
  • Susan B. Downey, The Excavations at Dura-Europos, Final Report III (Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, 1977), 47–8, 172–180, no. 33, pl. 9, fig. 33
  • Ann Perkins, The Art of Dura-Europos, 1st ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1973), 103–104, pl. 44, ill
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