Armenia will exhibit the bronze statue of Goddess Anahit for the first time
The Tourism Committee of Armenia has recently made a momentous announcement: the statue of Goddess Anahit, a prominent character from Armenian mythology, will be put on display in Armenia for the first time. This exhibition, scheduled for September 2024, is the outcome of an unprecedented agreement between the History Museum of Armenia and the British Museum, where the statue is currently housed.
The bronze head of the statue, believed to represent the Armenian goddess Anahit, was discovered in 1872 in the town of Sadak (formerly Satala) in northeastern Turkey. The head is assumed to depict Anahit in the guise of Aphrodite or Artemis, and its construction, which features thin-walled casting, suggests a late Hellenistic date. The eyes were originally inlaid with either precious stones or a glass paste, and the lips may have been coated with a copper veneer. The top of the head was damaged during the excavation. Rumors that the body of the statue was also found but later removed to an undisclosed location have been recounted through several letters from the 1870s and 1880s, but it has never been located.
The statue of Goddess Anahit holds great significance in Armenian mythology as the Mother Goddess, the goddess of fertility and love. During the period of paganism, her cult flourished in ancient Armenia, and templates of Anahit were located in Bangaran, Erez, Armavir Artashat, and Ashtishat.
This exhibition, which marks the first time the statue of Goddess Anahit will be exhibited in Armenia, will offer visitors the rare opportunity to see this significant piece of Armenian cultural heritage up close.