Do you recognise this statue of Artemis? Its image is widely used in Turkish tourism publicity materials and this is a photograph of one of the many statues of Artemis on display in Selçuk Museum.
Many readers will know that Ephesus featured in the list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World for its Temple of Artemis.
Artemis was the mother Goddess, whose approval guaranteed fertility and ensured good crops.
She was worshipped all over the Mediterranean and Middle East under various names, and the first recorded temple to her at Ephesus was erected in 625BC.
We had always thought that she was gifted with a multitude of breasts, clearly represented on the statue.
Apparently this is not the case, and male readers may wish to skip the next bit.
Men wishing to become priests at the Artemis Temple had to undergo castration, and the statue is actually adorned with testicles – perhaps the ultimate votive offering?
And what of the actual temple?
Well we didn’t bother to visit as only one column stands which can clearly be seen from various places in Selçuk.
So save an entry free and go look at the Artemis gallery in the Museum instead.