These terracotta roof fragments originate from the Treasuries at the ancient site of Delphi, dating circa 5th century BC. Ranging between 0.5 to 1.0 meter in length, these fragments carry highly skilled carvings and represent roof decorations from the stone edifices dedicated to various gods by different city-states.

Detailed examination of these fragments discloses an array of carvings that comprise scenes from mythology, as well as depictions of descript beasts and mythical entities, such as gorgons and sphinxes. The level of intricacy and craftsmanship in these carvings offers significant insight into the capabilities of ancient Greek artisans.

Fulfilling both functional and decorative roles, the fragments were designed to protect the buildings from environmental elements while also providing aesthetic embellishment. Their installation would have likely rendered them visible to observers both on the ground and in the celestial realm, highlighting a symbolic aspect of their function.

The discovery of the miniature Varvakeion Athena within one of the treasuries indicates that these structures were repositories for votive offerings, often featuring significant artworks dedicated to the gods by city-states. The presence of the roof fragments, therefore, substantiates the wealth and reverence of the communities that built these structures.

The terracotta material, representative of the prevalent regional resources, evidences the high caliber of artistry and technique of the period. Signs of wear such as erosion and chipping are observable on the fragments, confirming their authenticity and age.

Archaeological Museum of Delphi
Delphi, Sacred Way