The Art Archive/Heraklion Museum/Dagli Orti

The two long sides of this limestone-and-stucco sarcophagus from Ayia Triadha, dating after 1450 B.C., are painted with frescoes depicting ritual scenes. In the detail, two women flank an altar upon which a trussed, sacrificial bull has been placed. The blood from the slaughtered animal drips into a vessel below. Two goats, wide-eyed in fear, cower beneath the altar, while a man blows on a double flute. Some of the icons from the painting are recognizable from actual Minoan ritual practice. For example, a stone altar and bowl used to collect blood have been found at Gournia.