Portrait of the boy Eutyches, dated around 100- 150 AD, Roman Period
This teenage boy wears a Roman tunic with a purple clavus over the right shoulder. Across the neckline is a Greek inscription, and this language was common in the eastern Mediterranean at the time. Paintings of this type are often called ‘Faiyum portraits’ and were typical products from Roman Egypt which was very multicultural and multiethnic during this period. This style of painting originated in Greece during 5BC and 4BC, was well-known in Graeco-Roman Egypt, but very different from the traditional Egyptian style. Despite the Greek painting style, its use was entirely Egyptian, with the portrait panel being placed over the face of the mummy. Roman Egypt was a diverse civilisation, as represented here, where the mummy portraits were dressed like Romans and bore Greek/Greek version of Egyptian names, yet maintained Egyptian beliefs about the afterlife.