A 7,000 year old mystery is on display at the National Archaological Museum of Athens; it is a granite statuette, bird-like in shape, that possibly depicts a human figure. Part of ‘The Unseen Museum’ exhibition which brings forward artefacts usually hidden in closed storerooms, the statuette has baffled archaeologists for a long time with its unusual features, not least among them its size. Standing tall at 36 cm, the statuette is much bigger than most Neolithic statues, which are also mostly made of soft stone, not a hard rock like granite which needs metal tools (not available at the time) for its carving.
Adding to the archaeologists’ confusion is its ambiguity regarding its sex, according to Reuters. It might be a pregnant feature, but it features no breasts, while at the same time it is also lacking male organs. It’s resemblance to bird makes room for assumptions that it is probably a mythical hybrid species. The asexual figure belongs to a personal collection, which makes it difficult to point out its provenance. Archaeologists can only assume that it comes from the northern part of Greece, either Thessaly or Macedonia.
It is the mystery surrounding the statuette that led to it being displayed. Curators were looking for unusual, enigmatic artefacts for ‘The Unseen Museum’ exhibition, which will see new objects displayed in monthly rotation, coming from the museum’s vaults of priceless archaeological treasures. According to museum officers, there are currently around 200,000 antiquities in closed storerooms, remaining far from the visitors’ sight.