The Lady of Elche, also known as Lady of Elx, is a limestone figurine of a woman’s head found at a private estate at La Alcudia, few kilometers south of Elche, Spain.
This Iberian relic is debated to have been made in the early 4th century BC, although the artistry suggests strong Hellenistic influences. It is one of the most puzzling sculptures in the world as its origin is unknown.
August 4, 1897, a few farmers were working on a farm, during the lunch break a 14-year-old child goes to find water for the farmworkers. There, something gets his attention and he starts digging the earth until he hits a sculpture that was buried underneath. As he dug further he was left stunned as he sees a woman’s face. Since that moment the sculpture has captivated the onlookers and ignited a sense of curiosity in one’s mind who lays eyes on this mysterious sculpture of a woman from the past.
When the Lady of Elche was discovered in 1897 it was extremely well-preserved. It was a bust of a woman wearing an elaborate headdress believed to date back to the fourth century BC. The bust shows the woman’s face in great detail along with her headdress, neck, and shoulders. She is richly clothed and colored in red, yellow and blue with decorative pain which is now gone. At the back of the statue, there is a large hole that has raised many questions as to her true origin and what the hole could be for. It could have been part of a full-body statue and has strong Hellenistic influences. She could be a high priestess or a representation of the goddess of Carthage.
Others strongly believed that she is the lost goddess of Atlantis. Independent researchers claim the headdress is high-tech gear that reflects the highly advanced technology of the Atlantis civilization.
Either way, the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid says that the lady of Elche bust is one of its greatest treasures up till now.