The Minoan Snake Goddess represented by a woman with snakes on her arms and body is associated with the Palace of Knossos, where a figurine was originally excavated. Ancient Egyptians revered a snake goddess named Wadjet. Connections between Minos and Egypt have been observed through objects found in excavations. Snakes are considered to symbolize both regeneration and fertility, important female qualities in most cultures.
The Minoan goddess is usually a standing female figure. The Knossos figure that archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered had snakes running up both arms from hand to shoulder, with others curling around her torso and up around her ear onto her hat. Numerous other figures found at other sites more typically hold a single snake in each hand with arms upraised.
In Egypt, snakes are associated with female deity. Their sacred snake was the cobra, which in its rearing form, uraeus, was associated with royalty and Lower Egypt. Rather than held in the hand, the cobra is usually shown curled around papyrus. Wadjet frequently appears in combination with another goddess, and as a decorative feature rather than a figurine. Along with the goddess Nekhbet, associated with Upper Egypt, Wadjet protects the king; they may appear together on his diadem. Weret-hekau, one manifestation of Wadjett, is associated with magic, the solar eye, and Horus, who is said to have nursed him as an infant. She is also associated with the goddess Isis, his mother. Snakes are generally associated with magic, and the male Egyptian god often holds a snake-shaped wand in his hand.