Bull in a China Shop (Artifacts)


A  rich assortment of artifacts have been recovered from Knossos. Along with it magnificent architecture, artifacts such as wall frescoes, pottery, and statuettes have been unearthed.


Bull Leaping

Three Minoan Women

Fresco of dolphins and fish

As well as being visually stunning, these frescoes reveal much about the life at Knossos. The practice of bull-leaping, a sport practiced by the Minoan people, is captured in many frescoes at the palace of Knossos. This activity consisted of a man running at a bull, grasping it by the horns, and then vaulting over the animal. In this fresco the man leaping over the bull is shown with dark skin and the two women who stand on either side of the bull have very light skin. This reflects the gender division in Minoan society: a man’s place was outside where his skin would be tanned by the sun and a woman’s place was indoors, thus their skin stayed fair. The Fresco depicting the three Minoan women reveal how the people at Knossos dressed and styled their hair. It also shows us that these people made and wore jewelry. The palace also contains many frescoes depicting marine life. The sea was very important to the Minoans because it provided them with a large source of food.


 ThImage result for knossos inverted columnse most notable feature of architecture at the Palace of Knossos are the inverted columns. The columns are unique because instead of staring with a  wider base and tapering into a thinner capital, the start out thin and widen as they go up. Also notable are the pillow capitals, which appear to almost to be cushioned by the weight of the structure they support.


Countless pieces of pottery have been discovered at the palace of Knossos. Clay pots were used for storing wine, food, and water, as well as for other purposes. The palace contained large storerooms where clay pots were found. It also had many workshops where the clay pots were made and fired. Minoan pottery has a range of designs and styles, which alludes to the disunity of societies on the island of Crete.


This statuette depicts a bear breasted woman grasping two snakes in her hands. She had been identified as a goddess because of her association with serpents, which represent a renewal of life. Her outfit might be that of typical Minoan women, so not only does this figure reveal religious practices but it also reveals information about the everyday lives of Minoan women. This is a ceramic object that is glazed with quartz, a technique used in ancient Egypt. The Minoans use of this technique shows that they interacted with other societies; although they probably learned about this technique from mainland Greece and not Egypt.

Snake goddess statuette

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