The Isopata signet ring
This famous ring from the Isopata tomb, near Knossos, is a masterpiece of Minoan gold work. The bezel depicts four female figures, richly clad in characteristic Minoan garments, moving through a landscape of lilies. Three of them dance in ecstasy, their arms raised in the air, while the fourth one, placed in the centre of the scene and slightly higher than the others, makes a gesture - possibly of benediction. Their generously proportioned bodies and opulent garments are rendered in remarkable detail, as opposed to their minuscule heads. A fifth figure, much smaller than the others, appears to be descending from the sky and completes the composition together with other religious symbols frequently encountered on similar representations, such as the sacred eye, the snake and the chrysalis.