Great Artemis Head and Crown

Great Artemis Head and Crown

View of the head and crown of the "Great Artemis."  Notice animals that surround her head, the representation of a griffin(?), and the temple at the top of her crown.

Artemis was the chief deity of Ephesus.  Her temple, the Artemision, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

This statue was found ritually buried in the Prytaneion in the Upper City of Ephesus.  The statue is 9.6 ft. tall.  It is dated to the first or second century A.D. 

"It depicts the goddess wearing a three–tiered headdress with representations of temples on the top tier.  The goddess is decorated with various animal figures, including bees and bulls.  Especially noticeable are the many oval objects projecting from her chest, which have given rise to various interpretations.  The most frequently suggested identifications of these objects are that they represent eggs, breasts, or bull testicles (bulls were often sacrificed to Artemis), any of which would have served as symbols of fertility.  Unfortunately, most of both arms of the statue are missing."

Fant, Clyde E., and Mitchell G. Reddish. Lost Treasures of the Bible — Understanding the Bible Through Archaeological Artifacts in World Museums. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2008, p. 355.