Hera statue follows Zeus find

Archaeologists yesterday hailed the discovery in ancient Dion, near Mount Olympus, of a 2nd century BC statue of Hera, the ancient Greek goddess of marriage and wife of Zeus, a few years after a matching statue of Zeus was found on the same site. The headless statue of Hera, which is virtually life-sized, had been used by the early Christian inhabitants of Dion as filling for a defensive wall, according to Dimitris Pantermalis, an Aristotle University of Thessaloniki professor who has been leading excavations at Dion for more than 30 years. «We have concluded that the statue of Hera stood next to that of Zeus in the temple,» Pantermalis said. This is the first time statues of two different gods have been found in a single ancient temple in Greece, he added. He said it was also possible that a statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, could have also stood in the same temple. The statue of Zeus, identical in size to the one of Hera, was unearthed on the same site in 2003.