| Description | | Exhibits |

The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Cover of late geometric kalpis with human figure
Box lid

This interesting example of the Late Geometric pottery of Crete is a domed lid with a handle in the shape of an animal's head. Its surface is covered with intricate painted decoration, including a scene unique for this period. A standing male figure, turned towards the right, holds an object with three wavy lines in his right hand and a bird in his left. At his feet is another bird whose beak touches the handle of a tripod cauldron inside which is a third bird. Underneath the cauldron, from within the earth, appears a human bust. This scene is thought to be one of the earliest representations of Zeus holding a thunderbolt. The birds and tripod cauldron may be connected to beliefs about oracles, while the figure appearing under the cauldron may be a Cretan deity, possibly Rhea, who is closely connected to Zeus. Similar domed lids have been found in both sanctuaries and settlements and are certain to have had a double purpose.

Exhibit Features
Date: Early Historical Period, 770 - 735 BC
Place of discovery: Knosos, Fortetsa necropolis
Material: Clay
Inventory number: ΜΗ 12455
Usage: Ritual
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture