Description: Visitors stop to learn more about the large 12th century BC, Minoan larnax from Crete in the Gallery of the Bronze Age Aegean. Clay coffins became the standard type of burial vessel on the island of Crete from about 1400 to 1100 BC. The Minoans made the sarcophagi in two different shapes – either a footed box with gabled lid, as with this ROM example, or in the form of a bathtub. Such coffins also were painted. The wavy lines decorating the ROM’s larnax may represent the sea that the soul of the deceased person (whose remains lay within the coffin) had to cross to reach the Afterworld. This larnax was excavated in 1903 by the Museum’s first director, Dr. C.T. Currelly.
The Gallery of the Bronze Age Aegean features over 100 artifacts describing the rise and enigmatic fall of Greek civilizations from the Cyclades islands, Crete and mainland Greece, from approximately 3000 to 700 BC. The gallery is generously supported by the Hellenic Republic and the Greek communities of Canada.