| Description | | Exhibits |

The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Golden ring with worship scene
Signet ring with a scene of tree worship

This exquisite example of the minor arts was found where it had been placed on the chest of a deceased woman. It is a solid cast signet ring with a tiny bezel depicting a most important and expressive scene of Minoan worship. At the centre is a strong-looking female figure, possibly a goddess or priestess, wearing an opulent dress and raising her right hand in a gesture of benediction. This may be an epiphany of the Minoan goddess, also known from other similar representations. To her left is a young vigorous man who touches or pulls out a tree from within a walled tripartite shrine. At the other end of the composition is a second man who kneels in lamentation and holds an object, possibly a funerary pithos. This dramatic scene is interpreted as a representation of the human life cycle, a basic feature of Minoan worship. A chrysalis, two butterflies, a sacred eye and a column of the Egyptian god Osiris complete the composition.

Exhibit Features
Date: Late Bronze Age, 1600 - 1500 BC
Place of discovery: Archanes, Phourni necropolis
Dimensions: length: 0,021 m
Material: Gold
Inventory number: ΑΕ 989
Exhibition hole: Hall VI
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  Suggestive Bibliography
Ελληνική Τέχνη, Η αυγή της ελληνικής τέχνης, Αθήνα, 1994, αρ. 80, 201, 325
Σακελλαράκης Ι.Α., Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, 2003, 59-61