Ariadne, in Greek mythology, was the daughter of Minos, King of Crete,and his queen Pasiphaë, daughter of Helios. In Hesiod and most other accounts, Theseus abandoned Ariadne sleeping on Naxos, and Dionysus rediscovered and wedded her. In a few versions of the myth, Dionysus appeared to Theseus as they sailed away from Crete, saying that he had chosen Ariadne as his wife and demanding that Theseus leave her on Naxos for him; this has the effect of absolving the Athenian culture-hero of desertion. The vase-painters of Athens often showed Athena leading Theseus from the sleeping Ariadne to his ship.
With Dionysus, she was the mother of Oenopion, the personification of wine, Staphylus (related to grapes), Thoas, Peparethus, Phanus, Eurymedon, Enyeus, Ceramus, Maron, Euanthes, Latramys and Tauropolis. Her wedding diadem was set in the heavens as the constellation Corona Borealis.
Ariadne remained faithful to Dionysus but was later killed by Perseus at Argos. In other myths she hanged herself from a tree, like Erigone and the hanging Artemis, a Mesopotamian theme. Some scholars have posited, due to her thread-spinning and winding associations, that she was a weaving goddess, like Arachne, supporting this theory with themytheme of the Hanged Nymph (see weaving in mythology). Dionysus descended into Hades and brought her and his mother Semele back. They then joined the gods in Olympus.
Archaeological discoveries in Stelida:
In the summer of 2013, a new archaeological project was started on Naxos on the hill of Stélida, directed by Dr. Tristan Carter (McMaster University, Canada), under the auspices of the Canadian Institute in Greece. The hill is a natural source of chert, a raw material that was quarried in prehistoric times to make tools for hunting, craft-working and everyday domestic activities.
The site was first discovered in 1981, with the archaeological Ephoreia later making small excavations in 2000 and 2009.