Celtic head from Caerwent

Contributed by Newport Museum and Art Gallery

Celtic head from Caerwent

Persistence of native religious traditions in a Romanised world.

Crudely carved from local sandstone, the head is devoid of any Roman styling or influence. The head was found in shrine built in the 4th century and may be a representation of a native deity?

The head may have already been very old in the 4th century. The asymmetrical left eye (delibratey less well carved and shallower than the right) is a phenomen noted in Bronze Age and Iron Age wooden figures.

Similar heads have been discovered in Gaul, mainly on the sites of native temples, as offerings to local deities to perhaps cure illnesses in the parts portrayed?

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