FRAGMENT OF AN ATHENIAN FUNERARY STELE: YOUTH WITH DISCUS
The relief shows the head of the youth in profile, with a discus in the background, which he holds in his left hand: the monument commemorates the deceased as an athlete. He has long, braided hair, a motif recalling the “flowing-haired” Achaeans of Homer’s epics. The faint archaic smile that characterises the face is not the expression of a fleeting sentiment. During this period it was usually the gods, heroes, and the deceased that were represented with a smile — those beyond the ills of human life. The stele was found in the cemetery of the Athenian Kerameikos quarter.