Masks and Maidens: Women and the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia


  • Toryn Suddaby



This paper explores the archaeological finds at the site of Artemis Orthia in Sparta through a gender-based framework. It chronicles the history of the site from the 6th century BCE to modern excavations and critically evaluates the subtle biases of recent scholarship on the artefacts found there, including bronze dedications, the Orthia masks, and an architectural votive. This research aims to question established perceptions of Sparta as unique within Greece and scholarly biases against Laconian art as “backwards” by focusing on the context of the site and looking beyond the infamous literary flogging ritual to ask how women in particular fit into the mythology and archaeology. Utilizing a gender-based lens opens new possibilities and exposes modern preconceptions about gender in the ancient world, uniting seemingly contradictory elements.


How to Cite

Suddaby, T. (2015). Masks and Maidens: Women and the Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia. Constellations, 6(1).