Metal-working and Jewellery
The art of working metals, especially bronze, produced some notable artefacts, executed in advanced techniques. Many bronze figurines of male and female adorants were deposited in sanctuaries. The palaces and megara have yielded a few metal objects: household utensils (hydrias, amphoras, basins, bowls, jugs, cauldrons, frying-pans, cooking pots, lamps, and ladles). Special mention should be made of the huge cauldrons from Tylisos, one of which weighs 52 kilos. Few silver vases have survived (cups from Gournia, Mochlos, and Knossos). Tools of various kinds have been found in palaces and houses (stone-mason’s tools, carpenter’s tools, farming implements, double and single-headed axes, fishhooks, etc.). Bronze weapons have been discovered in tombs (helmet from Knossos, swords and daggers with relief gilded ivory hilts). The metal-working techniques employed are hammering, casting, repoussé, engraving, and granulation. Precious metals, particularly gold, were worked in all the above techniques to produce miniature objects and jewellery, which have been found placed as grave offerings in tombs. The items discovered include finger-rings, signet-rings, necklace beads, pendants, earrings, pins, hair-clasps, etc. Less use was made of silver, since it was rarer.
Dr Andonis Vasilakis