This statue from the Roman Imperial Period, specifically from the 2nd century AD, originates from the ancient city of Knidos in present-day Turkey. The statue, measuring 2.29 meters in height, depicts Demeter, the Greek deity associated with harvest, agriculture, and fertility, thereby reflecting the statue's significance in the context of the Greco-Roman religious beliefs.

Demeter is portrayed as a mature female figure, attired in traditional Greco-Roman clothing. The right arm of the statue extends outward subtly, possibly symbolizing a blessing or abundance. The left arm is bent at the elbow and displays a void likely designed to hold a pertinent item, such as grain or fruit, which is no longer present. Her attire, a long chiton, reveals meticulous detailing in the form of intricate folds. An additional piece of fabric, the himation, falls over her left shoulder, descending to the bottom of the statue, contrasting with the smoothed depiction of her exposed skin.

The representation of Demeter is positioned on a rectangular base, maintaining proportion and balance. Time has eroded her facial features but a trace of tranquility is still evident. The figure's hair exhibits detailed styling and is topped by a wreath, suggesting the skillset of the era's sculptors. The existence of a small flat area on the statue's posterior hints at its probable original placement in a sanctuary environment.

Damage to the statue is evident, most noticeably the missing upper right arm, entire left forearm, and likely handheld object along with the marred nose and worn surface. The statue, however, still provides insight into Knidos' cultural and religious atmosphere during the Roman period. Furthermore, its size, detailed craftsmanship, and the representation of the harvest deity give testament to the importance of agriculture in ancient society. The statue's unearthing and preservation afford future research and appreciation of Roman craftsmanship and religious iconography.

British Museum