Roman or Byzantine; Found in Carthage (now in Tunisia, North Africa)
Rock crystal; L. 6 1/4 in. (15.8 cm)
Bequest of Ada Small Moore, 1955 (55.135.9)
In the Roman and Byzantine world, rock crystal was believed to have magical qualities, particularly potent for healing various ailments and protecting against disease. The Roman naturalist Pliny believed rock crystal to come from snow. This dolphin statuette was one of five rock-crystal objects found in a cistern in Carthage (now in Tunisia, North Africa).