| Description | | Exhibits |

The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

View of the stone rhyton in bullhead shape
Bull's-head rhyton

This magnificent rhyton is a characteristic example of Minoan stone carving of the early Neopalatial period. It is a libation vase, which was filled with the appropriate liquid through a hole in the neck and emptied through another hole on the muzzle. This rhyton imitates a bull, the most important animal in Minoan religion. Its horns, which were not found, were probably of gilded wood, the inlaid eyes are of rock crystal with painted irises, the eyelashes of jasper and the muzzle of tridacna shell. The locks of the animal's mane are shown in relief and the hair represented with incisions. The lapidary rendered the strength and beauty of the animal, its anatomy and expressiveness, in a most naturalistic manner, as seen by the attention to anatomic detail. The rhyton is only partly preserved, its left side being the original.

Exhibit Features
Date: Late Bronze Age, 1550 - 1500 BC
Place of discovery: Knosos, Small palace
Dimensions: length: 0,26 m
Material: Black Steatite, Jasper, Nacre
Inventory number: ΑΕ 1368
Usage: Ritual
Exhibition hole: Hall IV
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  Suggestive Bibliography
Βασιλάκης Α., Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, χ.χ., 90-91
Ελληνική Τέχνη, Η αυγή της ελληνικής τέχνης, Αθήνα, 1994, αρ. 37, 169, 320
Σακελλαράκης Ι.Α., Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, 2003, 35-36
  See also