The Lady of Elche (Dama d'Elx in Valencian; Dama de Elche in Spanish) is a limestone bust sculpture of a woman, dated to the 5th or 4th century BC, discovered on August 4, 1897 on an ancient Roman site in Alcudia, 2 km south of Elche, near Alicante, Spain.
The sculpture is 56 cm high and has an almost spherical cavity in its back, 18 cm in diameter and 16 cm deep, which may have been used to insert relics, sacred objects or ashes as offerings to the deceased. Many other Iberian figures of a religious nature, located in other places, also have a hollow in their backs and, like the Lady of Elche, their shoulders are slightly bent forward.
The piece was found near Elche, Spain, where there is a small mountain that the Arabs called Alcudia (mound), which in ancient times was almost entirely surrounded by a river. It is known to have been an Iberian colony called Helike (in Greek) and that the Romans called Illici Augusta Colonia Julia. When the Arabs came in their turn, they keeping however the Roman toponym of Illici, which was Arabized in Elche.
Discovered in 1897 near Alicante, the Lady of Elche, a masterpiece of Iberian art, was bought by the Louvre Museum and returned to Franco's Spain in 1941. This exceptional sculpture, dating from the 5th or 4th centuries B.C., still raises many questions for researchers. This bust is currently kept at the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid. It is the best known and most important archaeological remains of the Iberian culture.
Height: 22.44 ".
Width: 19.68 ".
Depth: 13.78 ".
Weight: 40 kg (88.18 lbs)
Material: reconstituted marble (marble dust + high density resin).
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