Phalera
Chariot Burial, Horovicky, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia
5th c. BCE
15 cm. diameter
Bronze
Prague, Národní Muzeum

 

This phalera features two bands of abstract heads bordered by concentric circles. It was probably linked to the Celtic beliefs in the head’s significance. Its designs were hammered from the back in a repoussé method. Fourteen heads comprise the outer ring. Each head is flanked by petal forms, making it look like the head is peeking out from foliage. Between the heads are two small dots. The pattern of the inner band, comprised of seven heads, is the same as that of the outer. Two concentric circles of punched-out dots, however, add an extra decorative element to the inner band. A cone-like boss protrudes from the center of the phalera.

While the pattern and organization of this phalera are relatively simple, the workmanship is refined. All the designs are outlined with delicate raised lines. The facial features of the many heads, although abstract, are detailed.

 

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