Archaeologists excavating a Roman-era villa in Crete have uncovered two impressive, small-sized statues depicting the gods Artemis and Apollo, according to a statement by the Greek Ministry of Culture.
Found in the archaeological site of Aptera, a city in western Crete destroyed by an earthquake in the 7th century AD, the sculptures date to the first or second century AD and stand at around 21 inches in height.
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The one depicting the hunting goddess Artemis is made of copper, while the other, portraying her twin brother Apollo, is carved from marble.
Once standing on an ornate base also made of copper, Artemis is wearing a short chiton, or tunic, and is ready to shoot an arrow.
The statue is described as being in an excellent state of preservation.
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"The preservation of the white material used for her eyes is spectacular," the ministry said.
The marble statuette of Apollo is simpler in style, but nevertheless finely carved. Traces of red paint are still visible on the statue's pedestal.
According to the team led by archaeologist Vanna Niniou-Kindelis, director of excavations at Aptera, both sculptures were likely imported to the island in order to decorate a shrine in the luxury Roman villa in which they were found.