In Greek mythology, Medusa was a Gorgon. Her gaze turned anyone who looked at her to stone, and her hair consisted of coils of snakes. She was cleverly beheaded by Perseus, who by the help of several artifacts given to him by gods, managed to elude her gaze.
Perseus was given the task of obtaining her head at the request of Polydectes. He manages to kill Medusa by looking at her through a mirrored shield and by utilizing winged sandals given by Hermes. Her head was used by Perseus to petrify Polydectes and his cohorts, and her head was given to Athena, who put it on her shield.