German Archaeological Institute, Athens

A “siren figure” from Olympia, Greece, displays six fingers on its right hand and six or seven fingers on its left hand in this rear view. Such part-human, part-bird figurines served as decorations around the outside of the brim on widely distributed, bronze cauldrons, a style that probably originated in eastern Anatolia or North Syria in the eighth or ninth century B.C. A ring passed through the loop on each figurine’s back, the protuberance at the center of the photo, providing handles by which the cauldron could be lifted. Seven of the 81 known figurines have six fingers, always on their right hand, although one also has seven fingers on its left hand. The author has suggested that they represent Rephaim, giants—the divinized ancestors of the celebrants of a funeral feast—who are invited to drink from the cauldron.