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Minoan Octopus Fresco Art

W. Sheppard Baird

Joined November 2010

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Artist's Description

“Original Reproduction”
Late Bronze Age (LBA)
Late Minoan (LM) Period
Knossos, Crete, Greece

A replica of this fresco is displayed in the “Loggia” (a light-well open to the air) directly above the Throne Room in the West Wing of Knossos palace. The original restoration is in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, Crete. On the south side of the Throne Room is a room behind a balustrade with three wooden columns and a short flight of six steps leading down to a sunken floor. Arthur Evans called these sunken rooms “Lustral Basins”. He assumed they were filled with water for use in ritual cleansing. But since his time this has fallen into question. Directly above the Lustral Basin was a light-well with an opening in the ceiling that probably extended to the roof of the palace. The floor above the basin where the Octopus fresco is displayed allowed for the observation of whatever occurred below to be viewed from overhead. During Evans’ excavation several objects and pieces of crystal and gold were found in the basin that they believed had fallen from above.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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