Religion in Ancient Crete by Andrew and Deanna

The religion in Ancient Crete was Matriarchal which means it was all female. All the goddesses were female and most of the priests were female. There is not much known about their religion because there are no books, scripts, or any writings still intact. The only reason we know about their religion is because of the relics and paintings left behind.
278043376_9afa0efedc_m.jpgMinoan Fresco 3
From Flickrcc by Brendadancer
The goddess of Crete was the Mother god and she was the mother of every living thing. The snake goddess was a household god and a kind of guardian angel. The Mountain goddess or god of the animals was the protector of the animals and earth.

Animals were sacred to the Goddesses and so they did not sacrifice them. Most tributes to the goddesses were honey, spices, wine, wool, and cheese. Human sacrifices did happen but not in the way you would think. The people would give up their freedom and families to serve the Goddess for the rest of their lives but were not killed and this was voluntary.

5071585001_b1c16b745e_m.jpgMinoan fresco dolphins
From Flickrcc by Gmccollor
Symbols of Crete were the Crescent axe which was meant to represent the moon and bulls' horns (which was used in religious ceremonies and events), frescoes, and seals. Seals are depictions of events and stories carved on stone and other materials. Frescoes are tiles painted and put together to make a picture.

  1. Why was the religion in Crete Matriarchal? List two reasons why you think it was Matriarchal.
  2. Who was Daedalus? Was he important to ancient Crete? Explain why.

  3. What is one belief of the people of ancient Crete?


Hooker, Richard . "Entrance to the shrine of the Minoan Snakegoddess, Crete, Cretan religion." Shrine of the Forgotten Goddesses flash intro. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2011. <>.
Sheldon, Natasha . "Minoan Burial Types and Tombs: Ancient Graves and Burials on Minoan Crete." Online Magazine and Writers' Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2011. <>.
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