Evans, Arthur J.  
The Palace of Minos: a comparative account of the successive stages of the early Cretan civilization as illustred by the discoveries at Knossos (Band 3): The great transitional age in the northern and eastern sections of the Palace — London, 1930

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Facsimile
438

THE 'BOSTON GODDESS'

Facilities
here for
abstrac-
tion.

Chrysele-
phantine
figure of
' Boston
God-
dess ':
parallel
to ' Knos-
sian God-
dess '.

adjoining cavity of a great stone-built cloaca with various avenues of sub-
terranean access—would have given quite exceptional facilities for surrepti-
tious abstraction.

In the case of the disappearance of certain inscribed tablets from the
15 th Magazine in the West Quarter of the Palace some accidental clues,
supplemented by exact evidence supplied by the clay documents them-
selves, led eventually to the conviction of one of our. workmen, Aristides—
' the unjust'. But in the case of this Eastern Treasury no such evidence
was forthcoming.

Nevertheless, it is not too much to say that, owing to a remarkable
chain of circumstances, there seems to be a high probability that, as regards
its most essential features, the lacuna in our evidence has been since supplied.

For the nearest parallel to the ' Lady of Knossos', as represented by
her faience image from the ' Temple Repositories', we naturally turn to the
remarkable chryselephantine figurine, known from its present home as the
' Boston Goddess' (see Fig. 305). She is robed in a flounced skirt of the
same fashion, with indications of similar small aprons1 contained by a narrow
girdle, here of gold, and above it is the same tight-fitting jacket with short
sleeves and cut low in front so as to expose her full breasts.2

She, too, wears a tiara, though of a different form with several peaks,
and here, too, holds out in her two hands and coiled about her forearms3 the
snakes—in this case of wrought gold with protruding tongues—that symbo-
lize her dominion of the Nether World. This, indeed, is the Goddess of
Knossos in her most characteristic aspect as a chthonic divinity and under
the form in which she had most need to be invoked in this earthquake-
stricken land.

The snakes themselves afforded an admirable example of proficiency in
goldsmiths' technique.4 The body of each was formed of a flat strip of
fairly thick gold, made thicker and more tubular as it passed between the

1 The holes for the nails or rivets to attach
this clearly show the rounded outlines of the
apron in front of the statuette. According to
the prevalent fashion of the epoch to which
the figure belongs, a small apron of this kind
was worn behind as well as in front. Good
examples of these are shown in the Tylissos
figurine, p. 449, Fig. 313, below. Compare,
too, the ' Snake Goddess ' and her Votaries,
P. of M., i, p. 500 seqq.

2 The right breast shows a nipple in the

shape of a small gold nail.

3 The right arm and part of the snake
round it have been restored. In the Museum
of Fine Arts Bulletin, xii, 1914, p. 52, a con-
fusion occurs where it is stated that a few
fragments of the left arm are preserved. It is
practically complete. (See L. D. Caskey,
Am. Joum. of Archaeology, second series, vol.
xix, p. 246, Fig. 6.)

4 See Caskey, Am. Joum. of Arch., loc. cit.
(pp. 246, 247, and Fig. 6).
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