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Heraklion Archeological Museum

by Tara

Tthough most of the day was spent working on our respective projects, Tyler and I did take a break to visit the Heraklion Archeological Museum. While I was in college I took a class called "Greek Myth, Art, and Literature" during which we studied the Minoan civilization extensively. This peaceful, colorful, goddess-worshiping, seemingly jubilant society that inhabited ancient Crete always fascinated me.

Today we were able to see some of the 4,000 year old Minoan artifacts that I had enjoyed studying.

Minoan Octopus Pottery

Beautiful, well-preserved vessels, perhaps used for ritual purposes:

Minoan Vessels

Powerful, snake-handling goddess sculptures:

Minoan Snake Goddess

Evidence of the Minoan bull-jumping past-time:

Minoan Bull Jumper Fresco Minoan Fresco Detail

Cute little owls, made thousands of years ago. They could easily be sold on Etsy today!

Minoans: The First Hipsters

Examples of early writing in the as-yet undeciphered Minoan Linear A script:

Minoan Linear A Script

And finally, the famed Prince of Lilies Fresco. It is worth noting that there are so few pieces of the original fresco left, that it could well have been anything and not necessarily a male figure in a lilly headdress.

Minoan Prince of Lilies Fresco

Unfortunately the museum was under reconstruction (we think?) so we were only able to see a small portion of its collection. Tomorrow we head to the Minoan palace of Knossos for some more history!

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This Decorative Arts masters student always loves your museum posts! Question, though: In the second picture, is the pitcher on the right made from carved stone? And the handle carved beads? Or was this made from glass? If you remember or know, I'm just curious.

Lots of love,
~Julia H.
Posted by Julia on February 16th, 2010 at 7:31 PM
Hi Julia! It was a beautiful piece-- you would have loved it. I didn't remember the details though so I had to look it up. Here's what I found:

Rock-crystal rhyton. Exquisite small rhyton (libation vessel) from the Palace of Zakros. The body is carved from a large block of rock-crystal and the handle is made of crystal beads threaded on a bronze wire. This unique vessel was restored from hundreds of small fragments. Dated to the MM III-LM IB period (17th-15th centuries B.C.). Inv.no. 2721.

From this website:

Love you!
Posted by Tara on February 18th, 2010 at 7:38 AM
Also, this page allows you to see details about other pieces in the exhibition:

Posted by Tara on February 18th, 2010 at 7:42 AM