Photo courtesy of the Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus

With its wide-open mouth, thrust-out tongue and menacing teeth, this limestone lion once prevented evil influences from entering an ancient royal tomb at Tamassos, Cyprus. In “The Guardians of Tamassos,” Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, an archaeologist with the Republic of Cyprus’s Department of Antiquities, recounts a salvage excavation in which she and her team recovered three pairs of sixth-century B.C. statues—including our lion—that were placed at the entrances of three tombs.