The Hagia Triada Sarcophagus: Interconnections Between Crete and Egypt in the Late Bronze Age

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2005-05-10

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Abstract

The Hagia Triada Sarcophagus, a painted limestone larnax, has been an enigma in the Minoan artistic canon since the time of its discovery in 1903. It is the only larnax found to date made of limestone, and the only one to contain a series of narrative scenes of Minoan funerary rituals. Conversely, most contemporaneous Aegean larnake are decorated with randomly arranged abstract designs and figures.

The late twentieth century re-excavations at the site of its discovery have, at last, allowed scholars to assign a date (1370-1320 BC) to the sarcophagus.  This period coincides with the late Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt; a time when interconnections between Crete and Egypt were extensive.   This development now permits a re-examination of the artistic and technical elements on the Hagia Triada Sarcophagus that seem closely related to the Egyptian techniques used to decorate temples and tombs since the third millennium, BC.

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