They call it The Goddess of Death, but its real name is the Women from Lemb. This curious artifact, a statue carved from pure limestone, was unearthed in Lemb, Cyprus in 1878.
No one knows what it is, exactly. Created around 3500 B.C.E., it perhaps served as a fertility statue for an unspecified goddess. However, the statue is far better known for the mysterious, and deadly, effects it has on its owners.
As the story goes, the Women from Lemb statue has belonged to at least four different families, and each one has met an untimely fate.
Lord Elphont was its first owner. After acquiring the statue, within six years all seven members of his family died. The second owner, Ivor Menucci, had a similar experience; he and his entire family died within four years. And Lord Thompson-Noel's family, the third to bring the statue into their home, also perished within four years.
For a while after that, the statue vanished, until it wound up in the hands of Sir Alan Biverbrook. He, his wife, and their two daughters were the next to die.
But before the seemingly cursed artifact could finish its dark work, Biverbrook's two surviving sons donated the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, Scotland. To top off the mystery, the museum curator who handled the statue died within a year.
And so it's at the Royal Scottish Museum where the Women from Lemb statue now rests, guarded from the world behind glass. Or, should I say, we are guarded from it.