The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Model of a shrine with worshippers
This clay model of a rectangular building is a characteristic example of Minoan cult-related miniature sculpture. A wall with three windows forms the back, while the front is open with two columns on the corners. Inside, four figures sit on small seats along the back wall. In front of each figure is a concave altar or offering table. A small bowl tops the two central altars. Two more figures kneel behind these altars and stretch their arms towards the seated ones, one of them holding an open vessel. This is a ritual scene in which worshippers make offerings to the dead or the gods. Similar models of shrines have been found in both Crete and Egypt, where representations of feasting in honour of the dead are common. The object was restored and parts of the base and columns filled in. Traces of red colour appear on its surface.