The principles of the Greek sculpture are lost in myth, since tradition refers to the first sculptors as demons (the Telchines) and the first sculptures had magic qualities or became alive. To the mythical craftsman Daedalus, many innovations are attributed, among which is the construction of the first sculptures of monumental character. His achievements were associated with his apprenticeship in Egypt and the ancient sources attributed his origin, sometimes to Athens and sometimes to Crete. However, in antiquity, by the adjective "daedala" they meant wooden statues. Finally, the term "Daedalic" was used by modern archaeology to denote a specific style which was developed during the 7th century B.C. and was applied both to great sculpture and to minor art. This technique, although greatly spread throughout Doric Greece (Crete, Peloponnese, Milos, Thera, Rhodes), is also found in other areas, such as Thebes, Megara, Athens and Delphi.

The Daedalic style is mainly decorative. That is to say the forms follow Geometric standards, although the angular elements are more rounded, the sizes are closer to reality and the exaggerations in the size of facial characteristics are abandoned. However, a truly realistic representaion has not yet developed, nor an improvement in anatomical accuracy. The Daedalic style is discerned for the conservative conception of its form and the exceptionally slow rate of its development.

Crete was obviously the most important centre and it is the place where most of the stone sculptures of the Daedalic style originate. In contrast to the works that were directly influenced by oriental standards, the Daedalic sculptures depict mostly feminine forms. They are characterized by a complete frontality, and are represented with the hands placed on the thighs, with the hair combed into horizontal layers that were considered to be wigs -the known layered wig-like hair- usually with their head quite broadened and with clothes without folds. These elements can be seen in the known "Auxerre kore", who wears the characteristic large belt and her clothes are decorated with engravings and painted with geometric pattern. Similar characteristics are apparent in the seated "goddesses" from Gortyna, Prinias, Astrits and Eleutherna.

Besides Crete, the characteristics of Daedalic style are combined with other local or oriental elements and are applied both to the creations of the protocorinthian ceramics, and to the various workshops of minor art in bronze. At the same time, they are incorporated in the repertory of goldsmithery and of curving on ivory and wood. The most important Daedalic stone sculpture -besides Crete- come from Delos, Mycenae and Boeotia. The Daedalic style, the flourishing of which is dated in the second half of the 7th century B.C., gradually disappeared at the beginning of the 6th century B.C. with the appearance of the local schools of Archaic sculpture.

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