Ceramic figurine of Venus- fragment from face. From VR72-80, Victoria Road, Winchester, Hampshire. Excavated by Winchester Archaeology Section, 1972-1980.

Ceramic figurine of Venus- fragment from face. From VR72-80, Victoria Road, Winchester, Hampshire. Excavated by Winchester Archaeology Section, 1972-1980.

Pipeclay figurine fragment

Roman, 2nd century AD

Found during excavations by Winchester Museums Service Archaeology Section at Victoria Road, Winchester in the mid- to late 1970s

This fragment is the lower part of the face of the goddess Venus, who was venerated as a protector of domestic life and fertility in Roman Britain. Such figurines were often used as grave goods, although this one came from a different kind of context at Victoria Road. It may have been disturbed and moved from the Victoria Road Roman graveyard, or used in a domestic shrine on the site. The fragment is burnt, as if it were once placed on a funeral pyre.

These objects were mass produced in Gaul (France) and being cheaper than statuettes of bronze, found a ready market in Britain. They are most common as site finds in Roman London, which probably served as their port of entry and distribution.

Ceramic figurine of Venus- fragment from face. From VR72-80, Victoria Road, Winchester, Hampshire. Excavated by Winchester Archaeology Section, 1972-1980.