The possibility therefore arises that there was some means of communication
from the head of the West Stairs to the mansion beyond (see Plan, pi. VII).
From what has been said above it will be seen that there are strong reasons
for believing that the whole of the structures that make up the south-west corner
of the ' Little Palace', consisting of the Pillar-Room, basement magazines and
the halls above approached by a special staircase, were devoted to religious
purposes. On the other hand, it has been shown that this more or less self-
contained system stood in an intimate relation to that represented by the Pillar-
Rooms immediately to the east of it, with which it was directly linked by the
paved causeway. In other words, the whole southern section of the 'Little
Palace' represents a continuous sanctuary quarter.
We have here, in fact, a phenomenon closely paralleled by the western wing
of the Great Palace. The whole trend of the evidence brought to licrht in that
region has, in fact, more and more tended to show that the greater part of this
Palace region served sacral ends. There were here not only pillar-crypts and
a succession of small shrines, but a whole group of pillar-halls above, which were
made use of for religious functions. It would seem that the Minoan sanctuaries
which formed an integral feature in both the 'Great' and the 'Little Palace', were
not by any means confined to little shrines, such as that depicted on the miniature
fresco, but were designed for a considerable accommodation of devotees.
§ 2. The bull's-head ' rhyton' and other ritual vessels from the ' Little Palace',
with some comparative examples.
The most remarkable object found in connexion with the south-west sanc-
tuary of the ' Little Palace' was the ' rhyton' in the form of a bull's head. With
the exception of the inlays of shell and rock crystal, its material is of black
steatite. Its height from the chin to the top of the head is 20 cm., so that it may
roughly be described as about half the natural dimensions.
The greater part of the head itself was preserved, but a part of the left side
and the left eye was wanting, also the horns and ears. The horns reproduced in
the annexed figures from Monsieur Gillieron's restoration (fig. 87, a, b) were
fixed by means of square attachments, secured in each case by a pin inserted
from the top of the head by means of a vertical perforation (see fig. 88, a, b).
This method corresponds, in fact, with the Minoan system of locking doors
(illustrated by remains in the South House at Knossos) by means of a metal pin
pushed through a ' keyhole' into the wooden bolt.
Judging from the small size of the attachments, the material of the horns was
probably of wood, and coated with thin gold foil, of which some remains were