Now you know this gorgeous ivory thing (directly above) is a fake, don't you? Yep, it is. Read all about it in Kenneth Lapatin's book "Mysteries of the Snake Goddess" (DeCapo Press, 2002). It is based on the larger faience "Snake Handler/Goddess" (at top) from the Temple repositories excavated by Arthur Evans at Knossos. Evans thought that one of his workmen must have snaffled this exceptionally fabulous chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statuette out of the site before he'd seen it, but in fact it is a clever forgery mixing exotic imported materials with the shape of the bare-breasted faience version - a highly desirable combination, if it was authentic. The faience Snake Goddesses (above and below in the previous post) are also not entirely authentic. Both are restored, particularly the smaller one, below. So what you see isn't necessarily what the Minoans saw. It is even questionable whether the smaller one *is* holding snakes, as one "snake" had a head added to it and the other was entirely added. In addition, no snakes have candy-cane stripes. One author suggested the smaller figure held twine, rather than snakes, which reminds me of Ariadne's thread.