Dr. Senta German

About Dr. Senta German

Dr. Senta German, now at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, took her Ph.D. at Columbia University in Aegean, Greek and Ancient Near Eastern archaeology and art. She explores the intersection of art and ancient Greek society with specific attention to performance, gender and the impacts of the illicit antiquities trade and forgery. She has taught at Columbia University, New York University, Rutgers University and was Associate Professor of Classics and Art History at Montclair State University.

There aren’t many places in the world like Knossos—after all, it is 9,000 years old.


Bull-leaping fresco from the palace of Knossos
The Bronze Age culture of Crete, called Minoan, is one of the most vibrant and admired in all of European prehistory.

Minoan art, an introduction

Cycladic period figures, marble, (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)
The ancient Cycladic islands are perhaps best known for the elegant, small-scale marble sculptures—nearly all of women—known as Cycladic Figurines.

Cycladic art, an introduction

The era of repatriations has finally come. The work is slow and uneven and there are countless objects yet to return home, but repatriations are now occurring at a rate never before seen.

Repatriating artworks

Ashurbanipal taking aim at a lion (detail), Lion Hunts of Ashurbanipal (ruled 669-630 B.C.E.), c. 645 B.C.E., gypsum,Neo-Assyrian, hall reliefs from Palace at Ninevah across the Tigris from present day Mosul, Iraq (British Museum)
Led by aggressive warrior kings, Assyria dominated the fertile crescent for half a millennia, amassing vast wealth.

Assyria, an introduction

Kamares ware jug
This delicate type of pottery helps us understand the far-reaching trade networks in the ancient Mediterranean.

Kamares Ware Jug

Hagia Triada sarcophagus
This beautifully painted sarcophagus depicts an elaborate burial ritual—was it made for royalty?

Hagia Triada sarcophagus

Bull's head rhyton from the palace at Knossos
This hollow stone vessel in the shape of a bull's head is both frighteningly realistic and beautifully stylized.

Bull’s Head Rhyton

Harvester Vase from Hagia Triada
The exuberant procession depicted on this small but luxurious object celebrates the fruits of farming the land.

Harvester Vase

Octopus vase from Palaikastro
This vase with a charming image of a writhing octopus was made during the height of the Minoan sea trade.

Octopus vase

Snake goddess from the palace at Knossos
Goddess, priestess, or simply a Minoan woman? Mysteries abound in this small figurine from Knossos.

Snake Goddess