The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Pyxis with animal-shaped handle
This characteristic example of Prepalatial art was found at Zakros. It is a stone pyxis with low cylindrical body and lid, both of which are covered with incisions forming triangles. This decorative motif was common in the Cyclades and suggests contacts between these two areas in the Early Bronze Age. The lid has two pairs of holes for fastening, with corresponding holes on the base of the pyxis. The handle of the lid is shaped like a dog, idly lying with outstretched front paws. The dog's body is rendered in low relief, but the head is sculpted in the round, which gives the figure a certain liveliness. This vase is characteristic of the gradual change in Prepalatial Minoan art and the prevalence of naturalism over schematic motifs. A similar pyxis lid found in Mochlos appears to have been crafted by the same artist.