Statues of Twin Greek Gods Artemis and Apollo Unearthed on Crete



Spectacular statuettes of Apollo and Artemis discovered in rare state of preservation on Crete. Source: Ancient Origins

The Chania Ephorate of Antiquities will present a group of small sculptures portraying the twin gods Artemis and Apollo, on Wednesday, July 24, at the Archaeological Museum of Crete.

The priceless statuettes were found in the systematic excavation taking place at a Roman home of ancient Aptera, under the direction of archaeologist Vanna Niniou-Kindeli. The archaeological dig is funded by the Region of Crete.

The presentation is considered of high importance because the two statues are of great artistic quality and date back to the second half of the first to the beginning of the second century AD. It is believed that they were imported from artistic centers outside Crete to adorn the luxurious Roman home.

The Ephorate’s announcement states “Artemis, the protector goddess of Aptera, is made of copper, while her twin brother Apollo, is made of marble. The goddess stands on an elaborate box-shaped copper base and is depicted in intense stride, wearing a short, slender chiton, and she is ready to shoot. Although Apollo is depicted in a more modest way, his attitude conveys internal tension.”

The spectacular finds will be presented for the first time as part of the Chania Archaeological Museum’s permanent collection.

In Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo were the children of Zeus and Leto. Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, as well as nature, chastity, virginity, and the moon. She was the protector of young girls and was worshiped as one of the primary goddesses of childbirth and midwifery.

She chose to remain a maiden forever, devoting her life to hunting and protecting the natural environment.

Apollo was the Greek god of music, dance, truth, healing, and light. Like his twin sister Artemis, he was also an archer. Two vital tasks given to Apollo include providing the science of medicine to mankind and moving the sun across the sky each day.