Since the time of the ancient Greeks, before written records, we have been fascinated by accounts of the Amazons, an elusive tribe of hard fighting, horse riding archers, female warriors equal to men in battle.
From Hungary to Mongolia, the grasslands have produced, preserved by the frozen tundra, tens of thousands of grave mounds. Archaeologists are finding gold, weapons, decorations, clothing, bones and deep frozen bodies of battle scarred woman warriors.
Riding bareback (no saddle or stirrups) with one breast exposed (I believe to throw off their male counterparts in battle, giving them a few seconds advantage) these ‘Scythian’ warriors are memorialized on a 4th Century BC Greek vase. A 6th Century BC Etruscan bronze depicts an Amazon riding bareback and shooting an arrow backwards in a ‘Parthian Shot’.
A thousand years later in Turkey a 5th and 6th Century mosaic shows Amazon Queen Penthesilea drawing her bow.
On two Roman coffins, Greeks battle Amazons. Greek legends survived over 700 years. When Herakles (Heracles), the son of Zeus killed Queen Hippolyte, the daughter of Ares (the god of war), the furious Amazons invaded Athens, forcing their way inside the city walls, right up to the Aeropagus.
In the 2nd and 3rd Centurys AD, Roman sarcophagi of the rich were decorated in relief with Amazon and Greek battle scenes.
The book “Searching for the Amazons” by John Man is an excellent book on the newest research and discoveries by archaeologists.
The face on the stained glass is that of my daughter who traveled with me through Crete, Rhodes, Turkey, Mycenae, and Greece, all the way to the steps of the Aeropagus.

Back to Top