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1) Boxers:

All kinds of sport were practised by youngsters in Minoan Crete. Bull leaping was considered the top sport but boxing, wrestling, gymnastics, running and archery were all taught to Minoan youngsters, beginning when they were about four or five. Both girls and boys learned all the skills. Note how little the boxing gloves these boxers wear have changed from the ones used today.

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2) Dolphins’ mural:

Dolphins were regarded as special and almost sacred by the Minoans, appearing in almost every painting of the sea or sailing. This mural decorates one of the rooms
in the great House at Knossos.

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3) Gold epiphany oval:

This golden oval is actually a ring. It shows the very centre of the secret ceremonies in The Grove, which Scamandronymous is so eager to witness. We can tell it is the centre of the ceremonies because first, the women are shown with very narrow featureless heads, meaning that they are communicating with the Goddess. That’s what the bare breasts mean too. Their woollen, flounced skirts are shown as moving, so we can tell their bodies are shaking. It is likely these women took some form of opium to enter their required states of ecstasy.

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4) Interior with two women talking:

This wall fresco, painted in Minoan times, shows clearly what the interior of their great Houses was
like. Here, one woman is visiting another. Both are dressed for the occasion, which would have been as pleasant a change from wearing their ordinary work clothes as it is today. Notice the tall, double-winged labrys in the background. The labrys was usually placed in rooms or near altars where Koré,
the Moon Goddess, was celebrated.

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5) Medusa mask:

This very attractive gold mask is connected to Minoan times. It is of Medusa, whose hair was supposed to be made of snakes and whose eyes would turn you to stone! But that was a very tall tale built on the legends of the Snake Goddess in Days of Blood and Gold, who Praxinoa and Melina learned about in Sanctuary, when they were girls.

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6) Phaestos disc:

This disc is real, held in the Heraklion Museum in Heraklion, Crete. It has not yet been successfully translated – but in Days of Blood and Gold, it is the ‘story disc’ Mnasidica makes for Praxinoa. Try matching some of the symbols to the explanations Mnasidica gives.

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7) House interior:

This photograph is of a room decorated with a large fresco (of three women talking) on a wall adjacent to another wall with a large window in it. This gives you an idea of how painting was used in Minoan houses, much like today – except we frame and hang our paintings, rather than paint them right on the walls!

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8) Bull leapers:

Bull leaping was the most important sport of Minoan Crete. Only the fittest and most agile of young girls or boys were trained to leap the bulls. This mural is very large, occupying the entry wall near the Knossos gate, allowing the painter to show exactly how a leap took place. This is the scene described in Days of Blood and Gold , when Cybele cartwheels across Zeiaphus’ back.

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