Amber Pendants from
the Archaic Xoanon of Upis, Artemis Ephesia

Anton Bammer's re-excavation of the temple site showed at least seven levels, some separated by heavily burned strata, going back to the 8th century, and in his estimation, very possibly as early as the Mycenaean period.

In the area where the original wooden statue (xoanon) stood, he found numerous amber pendants (with drilled holes for suspension) which appear to have been ornaments draped over the goddess image. Those at right closely resemble carved pomegranates of ancient Canaanite type.

round and oval amber pendants

More amber pendants, showing rounded and ring-shaped ornaments. But notice the slightly peaked shape of the one at lower right, which exactly corresponds to the shape of the multiple breasts on surviving copies of the classic Artemis Ephesia. Bammer thinks this jewelry is "likely to be the breast jewelry of the ancient xoanon."


amber pendants

Still other pendants were triangular and incised with dots-in-circle.

triangular flat amber pendants

Amber heads of people and animals, as well as bird images, were among the offerings found in the early temple.

amber heads, hairless, with prominent noses

This ivory carved with a tree of life was found in the layer of flood detritus. Its style is Syriac, with flowering branches, and a creature which the archaeologist describes as a griffin, but looks like a dolphin or fish.

The tree has a Canaanite capital that grew out of tree-of-life symbolism, and inspired the Ionian column in Greek architecture --the style used in the Artemision at Ephesus. Egyptian influence can be seen in the lotus pattern at the base of the capital, while the cluster of ovoid shapes at the column's base is inspired by Cretan mountain symbolism.


ivory with Canaanite-style tree of life pillar


This gemstone incised with a stag was among thousands of other offerings, including women's jewelry, pottery, and some of the earliest electrum coins.

incised semiprecious gem with stag

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