ANCIENT CARVED IVORIES 17
the excavations of Knossos, in Crete, during the season of 1902-1903.
This was a carving in the shape of a knot with a fringed border, and it
evidently possessed a certain symbolic character connected with some of
the religious rites or beliefs of the Cretans of about 1500 B. C. As
instances of the use of this form elsewhere in ancient Greece there
are noted two alabaster knots of similar design from one of the graves
at Mycenae. This ivory knot of Knossos was found near the great gypsum
pillar in the centre of a room of the ancient palace, and on a gold
ring from Mycenae is figured a sacred pillar from the entablature of
which are suspended two knots of this type; a seal impression from the
Palace of Knossos shows similar knots hung upon a tree. This form also
appears on a gem from the Heraeum at Argos, the examples being figured
here on either side of a bull's head.*
the site of the Spartan temple of Artemis Orthia have been found a
considerable number of very interesting specimens of relief carving in
ivory, f Many of these are plaques which were riveted on bronze clasps
for their adornment. The ivory plates are of rectangular form, and vary
in dimensions from 11 x 8.25 cm. (4-1/2 x 3-1/4 in.) down to 3.5 χ
2.75 cm. (1-1/3 x 1 in.). The greater part belong to the period
between 750 B. C. and 650 B. C. The largest and finest of them depicts
the slaying of the Gorgon.% Although considerably damaged,
enough remains to show the design satisfactorily; the execution is
very spirited, and this particular work indicates an Oriental
influence, possibly indirectly an Assyrian one, and is believed to
belong to a somewhat later
J. Evans, "The Palace of Knossos," in the Annual of the British School
of Athens, No. IX, London, n. d., pp. 1-154; see pp. 7, 8, and Fig. 4
on p. 8, "Sacred Knot of Ivory."
M. Dawkins "The Sanctuary of Artemis Orthia"; "Excavations at Sparta,
1907"; in the Annual of the British School of Athens, No. XIII, Session
1906-1907; see pp. 77, sqq.
JOp. cit., Fig. 19, p. 79.