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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Temple of Despoina at Lykosoura, Drapery of Despoina's Veil

Lykosoura was a city in Arkadia, in central southern Greece, that the ancient writer Pausanias believed was the oldest in the world. The local cult was of the goddess Despoina, meaning Mistress. In her sanctuary was a group sculpture of her and her mother Demeter seated on thrones, flanked by standing figures of Artemis and the Titan Anytos.

These fragments are almost all that remain of the sculptures. The group was large, at 5.6 metres high and 8.4 metres wide, but with a great level of detail. The decoration on the veil includes friezes of animal headed figures, nereids and eagles

Doliana marble
Location of Original: 

Athens, National Museum 1734-7


Purchased 1895-6


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 124 (n.1-2) & 350
Dickins: Hellenistic Sculpture (1920), 60
Dickins: Journal of Hellenic Studies XXXI (1911), 310-14
Dickins: Annual of the British School at Athens XVII (1910-11), 80-87
Dickins: Annual of the British School at Athens XIII (1906-07), 357-384
Dickins: Annual of the British School at Athens XII (1905-06), 109-120
Daniel: Journal of Hellenic Studies XXIV (1904), 41-57
Wace: American Journal of Archaeology XXXVIII (1934), 107-, pls. X-XI
Pausanias: Guide to Greece VIII, 37.3-5
Reinach: Repertoire de la Statuaire Grècque et Romaine II, 424
Frazer: Pausanias’s Description of Greece, IV, 367-379
Stewart: Greek Sculpture, 94, pls. 788-792

c.180 BCE
Damophon of Messene

Found on site

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