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Votive right hand, Roman, 1-400 CE

Votive offerings were made at the temple of a healing god such as Asklepios, the Greco-Roman god of healing and medicine. The offerings were made in the hope of receiving a cure or as thanks for one. Votives were made in the shape of the affected or cured body part, in this case a person’s right hand. Cast in bronze, the votive has a hole so it can be hung up on a wall. Temples were often overcrowded with votives.

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Glossary: hand

The portion of the upper limb distal to the radiocarpal joint, comprised of the wrist, palm, and fingers.

Glossary: votive offering

Objects or monuments donated by an individual for a public place or shrine. The object is usually given in gratitude for deliverance from distress.