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Gortyn. 600-480/470 BC

This large rectangular plaque with a divine triad carved in high relief probably covered the walls of the entrance to the temple of Athena on the acropolis of Gortyn. The taller central male figure is depicted with head and body facing frontally while the legs are moving to the right. He appears to be placing his hands on the shoulders of the female figures on either side. They have their arms at their sides and are wearing particularly tall polos headdresses. All three figures are slim and stylised, in divine nudity, their long hair symmetrically arranged in neat braids on either side of the head. The theme of the divine triad, known from older Egyptian examples, appears quite frequently in Cretan sanctuaries of the 8th and 7th centuries BC and in various art forms, although the deities cannot be securely identified based on the names of the later Olympic pantheon. The roots of Creto-Mycenaean religion and Eastern influences give this artefact a syncretic aspect, displaying all the characteristics of Daedalic art.
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