Doll
Collections OnlineGregorian Etruscan MuseumRoom XV

Doll

Rome
early 4th cent. AD
ivory
cat. 12224

Among the objects displayed in the Antiquarium Romanum, that document the various aspects of daily life in ancient Rome, there is an ivory doll with articulated limbs, with traces of a precious fabric made of golden thread still attached to it. As well as being a rare relic of a refined toy of ancient times with interesting technological details, this doll documents a particular aspect of the funerary rite in late Imperial Rome, given its parallel symbolic function. The doll was in fact found inside a sarcophagus discovered near the Basilica of St Sebastian in Rome, together with the mortal remains of a young girl of high rank to whom it belonged. The girl had died prematurely at 15 years of age.