Minoan New - Palace period 1500-1450 BCE. Libation rock crystal vessel from the Minoan palace at Zakro Crete.

Μινωική περίοδος Νέο - Ανάκτορο 1500-1450 π.κ.χ. Δοχείο Σπονδής από το μινωικό ανάκτορο στη Ζάκρο της Κρήτης.


Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

Stone bull’s head rhyton- left side of head and horns restored. A masterpiece of Minoan art, worked with great precision to render the natural features of the real animal. The snout is outlined with an inlay white seashell, while the preserved right eye is inlaid with rock crystal, with a rim and pupil made of red jasper. 

The vessel would have been used for libations, as indicated by the hole at the neck for filling and the corresponding hole on the snout  for pouring the liquid. Knossos, Little Palace, 1600-1450 B.C

From the treasury of the shrine at Zakros, a fragment from a bull’s head rhyton, and a restored bull’s head rhyton made of chlorite stone. From the end of the Neopalatial period (1450 B.C).

Check out also this silver bull-head rhyton from Mycenae (16th century B.C)


Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

Cups and vases from Zakros, and scenes from frescoes in Knossos depicting their usage in ceremonies and banquets, from the Neopalatial and Monopalatial period.

Individual posts with additional details for each artifact to follow.

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

Pyramidal porphyry weight of 29 kg with relief octopus and attachment hole.It was probably used for measuring and certifying the corresponding weight of standardized copper ingots. Knossos Palace 1500-1450 B.C

An earlier interpretation was that the weight might have served as an anchor, but it has been dismissed. Here are some copper ingots from the palace of Zakros and the Royal Villa of Hagia Triada dating from the same period. The ingots were imported mainly from Cyprus, in the form of ox-hides facilitating their transport, with a standard weight of 30 kg. Some bear incised signs of Cypriot and Minoan script certifying the transaction.  

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

Ivory model of a butterfly. From the Central Sanctuary Complex in Zakros. 1500-1450 B.C. 

This is clearly an early representation of a butterfree.

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

A small luxury rhyton made of rock crystal, a piece of technical and artistic perfection. The ovoid body is made from a single core of the hard stone. The neck, produced from another core, is attached to the body by a ring of crystal beads and gilded ivory disks. The raised handle consists of spherical crystal beads threaded onto a bronze wire. From the Central Sanctuary Complex, Zakros. 1500-1450 B.C

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

A colonaded portico with birds perched on the end of the roof beams. The birds indicate the epiphany of a deity. Zakros (1500-1450 B.C)

Trivia-ish: It has also been believed that this presentation of the three birds might be an early form of the apollonian/delian triad (Apollo, Artemis Leto).