Figurine of a lizard from a tumulus

Figurine of a lizard from a tumulus
Cortil-Noirmont, Belgium
3rd cent. CE
Rock crystal; L. 10,5 cm
Inv. B.000501
 

Some opulent women’s tombs in the Rhine-Meuse region contain luxurious jewellery and figures sculpted in precious materials that were considered magical or therapeutic in ancient times. The tomb at Cortil-Noirmont yiedeld a ring and a figurine of a lizard in rock crystal, along with three amber objects: a carving of a seashell, a necklace and a brooch. The lizard, whose alert pose has been deftly rendered, is fashioned from a single piece of very pure hyaline quartz, symbolizing the eternal ice that would protect the deceased when crossing the Pyriphlegethon, the flaming river of Hades.

 

Discover this masterpiece on the online museum catalogue Carmentis, in the book Masterpieces and in our Gallo-Roman galleries.