Captivating and at the same time disturbing, The Lady of Elche has intrigued researchers for over a century.
For some, it is nothing more than the sculpture of a powerful powerful queen or an ancient priestess, for others, is proof of the technological advances used in a civilization lost in time.
The mysterious artifact, a polychrome bust depicting the head of a woman, expertly carved in porous limestone 56 cm high, 45 cm wide and 37 cm deep, was unearthed by chance in 1897 by a young farm worker who was cleaning a planting area on the L’Alcúdia estate in Elche, southeastern Spain.
According to experts, the sculpture dates from the 4th century BC and its discovery confirms the existence of a millenary Iberian culture.
The conditions in which The Lady of Elche was found are impressive, in relation to the other artifacts found in the same region, this bust seems to have been left out of context, appearing to have been deliberately placed in place to be protected or hidden, in such a way that it is virtually impossible to know what its true meaning and purpose is, as it is not related to the environment in which it was found.
The Enigmatic Helmet
The entire piece weighs about 65 kilos and represents a beautifully dressed woman in three pieces of clothing: a tunic, a dress and an open cape with lading. When the bust was discovered, traces of bright colors, such as red and blue, were also noticed, meaning that its former manufacturers probably painted it as well.
But what draws the most attention are the two large spirals that frame each side of his face, similar to a coe, braided and decorated with lotus flower shapes and pearls, with earrings that hang up to his shoulders and a notched necklace that adorns his neck.
The origin of the bust is the subject of much debate.
Some scholars argue that she is Iberian and suggest that the image of a queen was made, since only a woman of the high aristocracy could use such spectacular and majestic decoration, while other researchers believe it was a priestess or an ancient goddess linked to Basque culture.
Other scholars suggest that it was carved into the image of a Carthage goddess named Tanit, known for having powers over the Moon, the Sun and the stars.
Now, for some modern thinkers, what the woman wears is nothing more than a helmet with advanced ancient technology and proposed that The Lady of Elche would be descended from some settlers of Atlantis in that region of the Iberian Peninsula. Your technological helmet would reflect the highly advanced nature of this civilization.
Currently, the original artifact is in Madrid, and a replica of it was produced and housed in the Museum of Archaeology and History of Elche.
Other Related Archaeological Discoveries
The Dama de Guardamar was discovered in 1987 at the Phoenician archaeological site Cabezo Lucero in the Spanish province of Alicante, near Elche.
The Phoenician civilization has its origins in the eastern Mediterranean, and concentrated throughout Lebanon and Syria and, at its peak, between 1,100 and 200 BC., civilization spread all along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Iberian Peninsula.
Another discovery, even more intriguing, were the 12 medallions with the same figure and containing cuneiform inscriptions found in 1969 in Richfield, Utah, in the United States, buried more than 2 meters deep, which are a complete mystery and, to this day, no one has been able to explain its origin.
It is known that the Phoenicians were experienced navigators and intrepid explorers, developing an extensive maritime trade network that lasted more than a millennium, becoming the dominant power for much of antiquity.
There are many theories about the presence of Phoenicians in America, including Brazil, which are supported by uncovered records, inscriptions and artifacts, which would indicate that this civilization was much more advanced than supposed and would have crossed the Atlantic Ocean at least 2,000 years before Columbus, and could have connections or perhaps even be the descendants of the lost civilization of Atlantis.