Relief of the Goddess Atargatis, or Tyche with Doves
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Limestone, H. 13.0 cm, W. 25.5 cm, D. 5.0 cm
From the Temple of Adonis, Dura-Europos, 1st century CE
Yale University Art Gallery, Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos: 1935.46
Photography © 2011 Yale University Art Gallery
This arresting, wide-eyed figure may represent Tyche, the Greek goddess of urban prosperity and good fortune. She may also be the Syrian goddess Atargatis (also known as Dea Syria, the Great Goddess of Syria) depicted as the Gad, or protective spirit, of the city. It is not surprising that this relief permits different readings, given that religious imagery at Dura-Europos often emphasizes shared characteristics among deities from different cultural backgrounds.