The Ruins of Ancient Lavinium
The ruins of ancient Lavinium, the city founded by Aeneas and precursor of Rome are situated in Pratica di Mare. The Museo civico archeologico Lavinium contains the material excavated from more than 60 years of excavations. To the east of the city was discovered a sanctuary of Minerva. An over life-size terracotta polychrome statue of the goddess is identified by her aegis and helmet. Unusual is the addition of a Triton.
Of particular interest are a series of circa 70-100 terracotta sculptures found in a votive deposit of the 3rd-2nd centuries BC. Dated between the 5th and 3rd centuries BC, the mostly life-size female figures are noteworthy for their extremely high-quality and provide evidence for a loca workshop. Their hairstyles have led to their identification as girls in the rite of passage from maidens to married women. As dedicants, they offer gifts to the goddess such as pomegranates, childhood toys, doves, etc.
The works were mould-made using local clay with the addition of sand. Several different mould were available. The cast figures were then individualised by the application with slurry of modelled jewelry. After firing, the face, hair, jewelry and the clothing was painted.