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The exhibit

Zakros, “Treasury of the Shrine”. 1500-1450 BC

This small libation vessel, a true masterpiece of Minoan art, is one of the most valuable ritual vessels of the Central Sanctuary of Zakros. The body and neck are made separately. The body of the rhyton is carved from a particularly large block of rock crystal. The vase was found shattered into hundreds of tiny pieces, which were restored with marvellous skill by the conservators of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The collar around the join between neck and body is decorated with gilded ivory discs. The tall, curved handle is formed of fourteen crystal beads threaded on copper wire, and was found almost intact during the excavation, with the beads still in place. The skill of the Minoan craftsman is evident not only from the decorative details of the rhyton but also from the fact that he was able to create such a fine-walled vessel without cracking the particularly hard raw material. The aesthetic perfection of the rhyton is as impressive as the technical skill required to produce it. Its symbolic value as a ritual vessel is heightened by the precious ivory and the metals, all of which were imported to Crete from distant parts of the East Mediterranean.
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1 January: closed

6 January: 08:30 – 15:00

Shrove Monday: 08:30 – 15:00

25 March: closed

Good Friday: 12:00 – 17:00

Holy Saturday: 08:00 – 15:00

1 May: closed

Easter Sunday: closed

Easter Monday: 08:00 – 20:00

Holy Spirit Day: 08:00 – 20:00

15 August: 08:00 – 20:00

28 October: 08:00 – 20:00

25 December: closed

26 December: closed