Erich Lessing

A wide-eyed gorgon—whose look turns anyone gazing upon her to stone—stares out from the spiral-shaped handle of the Vix krater, a bronze vessel made in Greece in the sixth century B.C. Over 5 feet tall, the intricately carved krater was discovered in a princess’s burial in France. As author Despoina Tsiafakis explains in “Mankillers,” gorgons—as well as sirens and sphinxes—were often placed at gravesites, where they kept watch over the dead.