Objects of the Museu Municipal Ceràmica de Paterna

Funerary plaque 

Sexual and general division of labour

Gender and life cycle: marriage

Gender and space

This funerary inscription, which Cornelius Lupulus dedicated to his wife, employs the epithet bene merenti, ‘well-deserving’. This accolade leads us to think about all of those aspects for which his wife was worthy of praise. The plaque was found during excavations conducted in the Roman villa at Paterna. Based on the texts of Latin agronomic treatise writers, we shift our attention to the role played by women living in a rural environment and to what was expected of them so that they would be worthy of such an inscription.


Gender stereotypes: desiring subject / desired object

Gender and life cycle: marriage

Gender and sexuality

The iconic representation of the Hand of Fatima in medieval ceramics was extremely common in Muslim countries, used as a symbol of protection against illness, misfortune and evil spirits. One of the legends associated with this symbol reveals the resigned attitude of Fatima towards her husband’s infidelity, signifying abnegation and patience as appropriate female attitudes in a relationship. An examination of this and other traditional narratives explains their role in reproducing gender inequality, articulating different socialization processes for men and women. Today, pedagogy and publishers convey this reality, overcoming it with ‘rereadings’ in teacher’s guides for the classroom and on the shelves.

Albahaquero (basil pot)

Gender and clothing

Gender and social class

Gender roles

The function of an albahaquero within the home was to provide a pot for basil, a plant with culinary uses which also served as a natural air freshener, actions linked to the domestic sphere of the female gender. However, its decoration leads us to go further, among other things, to consider the clothing of the period from which it dates and how women were represented in 15th-century iconography. In this depiction, we see a stereotypical woman with a strongly accentuated figure, reinforcing other feminine attributes. But did she really look like this or does it simply reflect the male mentality with regard to women?