The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Signet ring representing a goddess and griffin
This tiny signet ring is representative of the fine craftsmanship of Minoan goldsmiths. It has a semi-circular ring and circular bezel decorated with two figures. The larger figure is a griffin shown in « flying gallop », his body thrust towards the left and upwards. He has open wings, a slender body and a long hooked beak. At the right is a standing female figure, possibly a deity, hovering behind the griffin with both her arms outstretched. She wears the characteristic Minoan dress, slightly shorter than usual, and appears to be leading the animal. This scene is quite common in Minoan art and may in fact represent a chariot in a condensed, abstract manner. The ring was probably a grave gift from a tomb in the upper floor of Tholos tomb B at Archanes.