Schist dish with Eros riding a lion-headed sea monster
1st century B.C.
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Diam. 6 in. (15.2 cm); D. 1 in. (2.5 cm)
Samuel Eilenberg Collection, Gift of Samuel Eilenberg, 1987
Images of Eros traveled to the East along the trade routes opened up by the conquests of Alexander the Great (r. 336–323 B.C.). The iconography of sleeping Eros was assimilated into Eastern cultures as far as the Gandharan region in Pakistan, where the motif has been found on jewelry of the Early Imperial period. This dish likely served as an offering bowl at a sanctuary or a household shrine.