Orante Figurines

Or goddesses offering benediction. Numerous bell-skirted clay figurines like these date from the post-classic period in Crete. This one has been painted with patterns in red ochre. She still appears to have a little animal atop her head.

clay figurine with upraised arms and bell skirt

She wears a crown with the horns of consecration, flanked by two doves. Her face is serene and absorbed within. The ochre paint has been worn away on her upper body, with traces remaining.

ceramic figure of goddess with upraised hands


The famous goddess with the poppy crown from Gazi, Crete. Seals also shown goddesses holding poppies. These figurines were placed on bench-altars in shrines, with offering stands (the "snake tubes") in front of them.

ceramic godess with poppy crown

Another snake dancer shows that this rite persisted after the Helladic conquests of Crete. Many of these goddesses are shown with snakes in their crowns or wrapped around their arms or bodies in the classic style.


goddess with serpents

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