Archivo Iconografico, S.A./Corbis

Bicha de Balazote
limestone, 5th century B.C.
This hybrid creature, with its bovine body and human head, probably once crowned an Iberian tomb in the province of Albacete in central Spain. About 3 feet long and more than 2 feet tall, the statue has wide, alert eyes—all the better to keep watch over the deceased it once guarded—and its long beard suggests wisdom and gravity. Most Iberian sculpture was made for burials; stone lions, bulls, sphinxes and griffins were placed directly atop tombs or nearby stone pillars. No Iberian sculptures have yet been found in public buildings or temples.