Although images of the divinities were certainly known, the principal objects of cult in the Minoan age were of the aniconic class; in many cases these were natural objects, such as rocks and mountain peaks, with their cave sanctuaries, like those of Ida or of Dicte.
This cult passed through an aniconic stage, from which fetishes survived to the last, these being rocks or pillars, trees, weapons (e.g.
Palanga; lower aniconic half of draped statue with incised inscription, now in Constantinople.
The aniconic lower part of an inscribed statue wholly in the round was found at Palanga, and parts of others at Kirchoglu and Marash.
This is not necessarily the case with the worshipper of aniconic or unshaped gods.
Here then in the most marked manner the aniconic sacrament has ousted pictures and statues.
Equally contradictory of any such law of development is the circumstance that the Greeks of the 5th and 4th centuries B.C., although Pheidias and other artists were embodying their gods and goddesses in the most perfect of images, nevertheless continued to cherish the rude aniconic stocks and stones of their ancestors.
No images of Yahweh or of earlier Canaanite deities have been unearthed; but images belong to a relatively advanced stage in the development of religion, and the aniconic stage may be represented by the sacred pillars and posts, by the small models of heads of bulls, and by the evidence for calf-cults in the Old Testament.
Lastly, the restriction to aniconic worship saved them from much superstition, for there is nothing which so much stimulates the growth of a mythology as the manufacture of idols.