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THE EXHIBIT

Prinias, Temple Α. 650 - 600 BC

One of the most important sculptural works of Daedalic art of the 7th century BC is the lintel of the main entrance to Temple A at Prinias. At the top, where the skylight was, are two identical enthroned goddesses, seated facing each other with their hands on their knees. They are each wearing a long belted peplos, with a fine mantle around the shoulders. The lower part of the garment is richly decorated with incised animals and geometric motifs. The goddesses are also wearing polos headdresses, a sign of their divinity. Their faces are triangular, with brows and almond-shaped eyes rendered in high relief, all typical features of the Orientalising style of the period. The enthroned goddess is a type often found in ancient Greek art. The sculptures from the temple of Prinias are the earliest known example of the seated deity type. The volumes of the bodies are rendered without anatomical details, while the divine nature of the figures is indicated by their expression of calm detachment. Under the goddesses, the epistyle of the doorway is decorated with six panthers in relief. On entering the temple, one would see the lower part of the epistyle, where the two goddesses appear again, this time standing. In spite of their partial state of preservation, which allows different proposed reconstructions, the sculptures of the temple of Prinias are a unique source of information on the art and architecture of this era in Crete.
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