Double Goddess Temple Entrance, Prinias, Crete

You're looking at the lintel over the entrance to a 7th century temple at Prinias, in the center of Crete. This "daedalic" style originates in Crete, under strong Egyptian influence (visible in the seated goddesses) and also Asiatic influences (the lions).

Look how magnificent the goddesses are. No written identification, so they argue about whether it is Artemis or Rhea.

Above is the first photo I found, back in the 80s, without any information about the temple context or the fact that she is one of a pair. The stags and lions led to her being identified as Artemis.

Triple goddesses are another theme in Cretan art in this daedalic style. Gortys Temple of Athena, 7th century bce. Their hands over vulva resonate with Athena's resolute asexuality.

Another triad from the same temple takes no such precautions, however.

Another triad, one with infant at the breast, from Seteia, Crete.

Reconstructed view of Temple A at Prinias. Note that sphinxes are at the top, but the frieze near the top is armed warriors. They are a huge departure from the ethos of Old Crete, eight centuries before.

Complete and Continue