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The exhibit

Hagia Triada, Necropolis, Tomb 4. 1370-1320 BC

This masterpiece is a unique stone chest sarcophagus which was discovered in a funerary building near the Villa of Hagia Triada by Italian archaeologist Roberto Paribeni in 1903. The outer surface is covered with a thin coat of plaster and painted in the fresco technique. The friezes covering the whole surface are painted in vivid colours and provide valuable information on the burial customs of high-ranking officials of Crete in the Mycenaean era. On one long side, on the right, the deceased man is shown standing in front of his tomb, wearing a long tunic and receiving offerings of models of animals and a boat from a procession of men. On the left, priestesses are pouring libations into a tub between poles surmounted by double axes. On the other long side are depicted other funerary rites, a bull sacrifice and bloodless offerings at an altar in front of a sanctuary with a sacred tree. The events are accompanied by music, while the presence of the deity is indicated by birds. On the two narrow sides, the figures in chariots drawn by wild goats and griffins may be a symbolic depiction of the last journey of the deceased. The sarcophagus appears to have been used for the burial of a particularly eminent person, as we see from the material and the quality of construction, and also from the depiction of the elaborate funerary ritual and the rendering of honours. On a symbolic level, the painted decoration recalls the technique, style and iconography of the palatial fresco tradition.
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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