Xeste III Saffron Gatherers fresco

Detail of young woman from Saffron Gatherers fresco
Located in the building Xeste III in Akrotiri, Thera, this fresco depicts women gathering crocus flowers for saffron. Saffron was and still is a highly coveted spice, yet its cultivation is grueling work. Thus, cultivating it became a major ritual relegated to Minoan women. The youngest woman in this fresco seems to have a shaved head, or wear a tightly bound headdress with hair poking out from the back and the front. This may indicate a special rite. On a neighboring wall, the gatherers offer saffron to the Great Mother goddess.
Photo credit / Yann Forget: Le Musée absolu, Phaidon, 10-2012 Wikimedia Commons