Cretan Goddess in Many Forms

The Cave of Eileithyia has been a sanctuary since neolithic times. The wall surrounding the woman-like statactite dates much later, but was built in ancient times. Many offerings were left in this cave consecrated to the Goddess of Birth.

cavern with woman-like stalactite

The famous neolithic statuette from Kato Ierapetra ("Holy Stone").

seated woman with slight smile and snake-like striations on her body


Detail from amphora showing labrys with rosettes. The pot lugs appear as ears flanking the symbol of the Cretan goddess.

pot with labrys and ears

Clay shrine painted with spiralling key pattern and chevrons, with goddess or priestess inside. On the roof a couple makes love beside a cat. Arkhanes, Crete, c. 1100.


painted clay shrine with goddess inside


Bronze shield from the Idaean Cave circa 700s BCE. The Mistress of Animlas stands grasping a lion in either hand. The Idaean Mother was venerated all over the Mediterranean by Roman times.


bronze relief of woman with outstretched arms between lions

Bronze Age Greece

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