This is a plaque of one the ancient goddesses called Muses. In Greek mythology, the Muses are nine archaic goddesses who embody the right evocation of myth, inspired through remembered and improvised song and traditional music and dances. They were water nymphs, associated with the springs of Haliacmon and Pieria, region of Macedonia. The Olympian system set Apollo as their leader, Apollon Mousagetes. Muse-worship was also often associated with the hero-cults of poets: the tombs of Archilochus on Thasos and Hesiod and Thamyris (whom they blinded) in Boeotia all played host to festivals in which poetic recitations were accompanied by sacrifices to the Muses. The Library of Alexandria and its circle of scholars were formed around a mousaion (“museum” or shrine of the Muses) close by the tomb of Alexander the Great. Many Enlightenment figures sought to re-establish a “Cult of the Muses” in the 18th century. A popular Masonic lodge in pre-Revolutionary Paris was called Neuf Soeurs (“nine sisters”, i.e. nine Muses), and was attended by Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin. One side-effect of this movement was the use of the word “museum” (originally, “cult place of the Muses”) to refer to a place for the public display of knowledge.