Crete's Archaeological Museum of Herakleion Page Six
Postpalation/post-Minoan period (1350-1100 B.C.) when the war-like Mycenaeans now increasingly dominant in Crete. Artistic decline marked by near-disappearance of the fine stone-work that marked earlier periods, as well as repetition of old themes in pottery decoration. Less naturalism in figurines from sanctuaries. Clay sculpture of a dancing group with lyre player from Palekastro echoes the past but also reflects the ascendant Mycenaean influence. A child on a swing (though without its head) is one of the more interesting items.
Period of arrival of Dorian Greeks (1100-900 B.C.) The old Minoan goddess religion persists in clay figurines-votive offerings- depicting birth, pregnancy, sexual intercourse, at the cave sanctuary of the Minoan goddess of childbirth, Eileithyia (east of Iraklio), and the goddess with raised arms persists, but new images appear with the newcomers: clay carts pulled by bodyless oxen a new form of ritual vessel. Tools now made of iron instead of bronze, with advent of Iron Age.
Items bring collection to around 650 B.C. with earlier exhibits looking back towards earlier periods, and later ones showing eastern, especially Egyptian influence. Griffins, as well as the kind of figures used in pottery decoration, exemplify this. Gold jewelry, pottery and bronze items as well to be found in this room.
Minoan sarcophagi. Various periods. Notably, the most impressively beautiful of these is in Room 14, upstairs, the sarcophagus from Ayia Triada. Coffins are small because Minoans buried people with their knees bent up to their chests. Some have lids, others not, and may have been used as bathtubs first (!) Painted decoration of sarcophagi are in style of pottery of the time. Stairs led up to second floor from this room.