The Figure Stone of Hephaistia on Lemnos

A mysterious monolith with prehistoric embossed figures

A sensational discovery was the result of our this year's exploring trip to Lemnos. In Hephaistia, offside the road to Ekato Kephalai, we discovered an isolated boulder. Three sides of this monolith are flat and plain but the front face unmistakably shows embossed figures. Looking closer you see that this embossment is divided in several layers and on each of these layers there is a muddle of figures. Human figures are clearly discernible, you see heads with eyes, nose and mouth. Then there are figures which look like animals and monsters.
The Figure Stone of Hephaistia on Lemnos
The prehistoric Figure Stone of Hephaistia on Lemnos
Amazingly, there exists a very near equivalent to this figure stone. It is the representation on a seal which was discovered in Poliochni. The picture on this seal depicts a very similar composition in miniature: There is an almost inextricable muddle of human beings, animals and monsters. Design and composition on both pieces - the figure stone and the seal - are almost identical, so we have to assume that they are related.
Seal from Poliochni Seal from Poliochni
Up to now it has been concluded that the Poliochni seal is an unique piece which had been imported to Lemnos. Now this opinion must be reconsidered. The evidence indicates that both representations are of local origin and consequently the figure stone of Hephaistia must also date from the third millennium BC.

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