The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Frieze with horsemen from Temple A at Prinias
The frieze from Temple A at Prinias is the earliest known sculpted frieze in Greece. It is a characteristic example of Daedalic sculpture and was probably placed low along the side of the temple. On it is a scene rendered in relief, depicting a procession of horsemen moving towards the left. The horses with their long legs, massive hooves and tails that touch the ground cover the entire height of the frieze. The disproportionately small horsemen hold spears and the horses' reins. Their upper bodies and heads are shown frontally as is customary in early reliefs. The facial features are rendered in relief and with incisions, while their shields have incised motifs. Similar representations of large horses, which convey the power of both the animals and of the social class of horsemen, appear on other Cretan works of the seventh century BC.