What is the 'Lady of Elche'

Also known as 'La Dama de Elche', the 'Lady of Elche', is an Iberian (people of the east and south of the Iberian peninsula) bust found on a private estate two kilometers south of Elche, Spain on August 4, 1897. The bust was discovered by farm workers who, for agricultural purposes, were clearing of the southeast slope of the hill of La Alcudia. This area is now an archaeological site where numerous Iberian and Roman artifacts have now been found.

What is the 'Lady of Elche'
The 'Lady of Elche' is a limestone sculpture which dates back to the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Prior to its discovery, the last known description of the sculpture was around the year 100 BC, by Artemidorus of Ephesus, a statesman who traveled along the coasts of Iberia.

It is well preserved piece (although there is a pronounced mark made by one of the farmers hoes), and is believed to have been originally used as a funerary urn. This is based on an analysis of microparticles found within the posterior hole of the Lady of Elche which were found to belong to ashes of human bones.

It measures 56 cm tall and weighs approximately 65 kg. The almost spherical posterior cavity is 18 cm in diameter and a depth of 16 cm. The sculpture represents a woman with almost perfect features, and is splendidly adorned with clothes and jewels. It is well preserved, although it has lost almost all its original polychrome and the vitreous paste that filled its eyes. That being said the lips do retain traces of their red colour.

The sculpture is crafted with jewels characteristic of the Iberians. The large, ornamental wheel-like coils (known as rodetes) which cover the ears, would in reality have been hung from a few chains attached to a strip of leather that girdles the forehead.

The original 'Lady of Elche' is currently is exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, Spain. A copy of the 'Lady of Elche' is also on display at the Huerto del Cura (meaning Orchard of Healing), Eche.
Click onto the above image for the 'Seeds of Eaden' seed shop
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