figurines   (16th century BC)
Artist:  Minoan
ivory and gold
8 7/16 in. (21.5 cm)
Acquired by Henry Walters
The Walters Art Museum
71.1090
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Despite the delicate nature of the precious gold and ivory materials, the stance of this small figurine conveys power and strength. It closely resembles ceramic statuettes identified as goddesses or priestesses found in the sanctuary space known as the "Pillar Shrine" within the Minoan palace of Cnossus, Crete. The snakes adorning the figure are symbolic of fertility and regenerative powers.