The Boxer rhyton
This fragmentary rhyton from the Agia Triada mansion is a true masterpiece of Neopalatial stone carving. It has one handle and the rim is decorated with engraved lines. The entire surface bears relief scenes separated into four zones. The upper and two lower zones depict boxing and wrestling matches of men wearing helmets, while the middle zone carries a scene of bull-leaping. The muscular athletes, dressed only in a loin-cloth, gloves and tall boots, are depicted in different stages of the events. Their anatomy, the tension in their faces and bodies and their physical strength, are rendered with great detail and verve and make up a composition of remarkable liveliness. It is worth noting on the first and third zones the small columns with banners which adorned the fa?ades of Minoan sanctuaries, since they not only indicate the location where the games took place, but also the connection between athletic events and religion.