The Gorgons are monstrous creatures covered with impenetrable scales, with hair of living snakes, hands made of brass, sharp fangs and a beard. They live in the ultimate west, near the ocean, and guard the entrance to the underworld.
A stone head or picture of a Gorgon was often placed or drawn on temples and graves to avert the dark forces of evil, but also on the shields of soldiers. Such a head (called a gorgoneion) could also be found on the older coins of Athens. Artists portrayed a Gorgon head with snake hair, and occasionally with a protruding tongue and wings.