The Snake Goddess

Full view of the Snake Goddess figurine
Carved from faience, the Snake Goddess is a clue that suggests Minoan Crete may have been a matriarchal society, or that women played a dominant role in their religion. Women are more prominently depicted in religious art. Like the bull, the snake was a sacred animal in Minoan culture, representing the animal form of the Great Mother goddess. Snakes are associated with both death and rebirth through the shedding of their skin. The figure is dressed in typical Minoan female dress, which was heavy, restrictive, and incredibly ornate, holding twin snakes in her fists and a cat on her head. This references the Master of Animals motif, which would later be associated with the Greek Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Snakes would be later associated with the Greek goddess Athena.
Photo credit / Archaeological Museum, Herakleion The Human Journey