The Root, in a partnership with Harvard University’s Hutchinson Center for African and Research, explains why women were painted as goddesses on ancient pottery.

The Judgment of Paris is a scene painted on an ancient skyphus, or a large wine-drinking cup. The cup is estimated to be from the year 400 B.C.

 Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, is usually associated with the wine-drinking ritual by ancient Greeks in some way. The Judgment of Paris is a memorable scene from Homer’s Iliad.

Aphrodite is pictured as a black woman. Not only is the pigment used for her a black one, but she has a vacant stare in her eyes and a huge mouth with a dumb-founded expression.

So, why was a black woman on an ancient Greek cup anyway?

The Root explains that African physiognomy—the art of judging human character from facial features or the act of divination using facial features—is to blame. They believed this had power to ward off evil.

READ MORE: http://rewindingblack.com/why-did-the-ancient-greeks-paint-black-women-as-goddesses/

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