Greek World: Minoan Crete
We confine our remarks to Minoan sculpture in bronze . The statuettes come principally from cave and grotto sanctuaries, a few from summit sanctuaries, rural ones and also possibly from household shrines, and were placed among the offerings around the altars. Thirty-one statuettes come from Hagia Triada and are associated with the villa.
Their clenched right hand is raised to the forehead in a gesture of prayer and adoration.
Votive offerings represented the faithful and possibly cult images; their find context and their attitude confirm their religious function. Those found in palaces or houses come from the aristocratic quarters, which probably indicates that the workshops were in the palaces themselves, thus contributing to the power, prestige and hold that the ruling aristocracy had over the people. Since they were offered by all sections of the population their quality varies greatly.
Cast by the lost wax process with barely any cold-working, Minoan bronzes are impressionistic, most especially with reference to the Style of Princes within the Classical Style (MM III-LM Ia). The small of the back is particularly curved at the acme of their artistic development.
1 Sapouna-Sakellarakis, E.: Die bronzenen Menschenfiguren auf Kreta und in der Ägäis, PBF I, 5 (Stuttgart, 1995). This study has induced certain revisions in the entries. The find contexts, even in the measure that they are known, are not very revealing. Lack of data, different styles and the difficulty to establish an evolution ensue in most assessments seeming hypothetical. E. Sapouna-Sakellarakis does consider that a number of these small bronzes could be cult images.