How do we interpret ancient art created before written texts? Scholars usually put ancient art into conversation with ancient texts in order to interpret its meaning. But for earlier periods without texts, such as in the Bronze Age Aegean, this method is redundant. Using cutting-edge theory from art history, archaeology, and anthropology, Carl Knappett offers a new approach to this problem by identifying distinct actions - such as modelling, combining, and imprinting - whereby meaning is scaffolded through the materials themselves. By showing how these actions work in the context of specific bodies of material, Knappett brings to life the fascinating art of Minoan Crete and surrounding areas in novel ways. With a special focus on how creativity manifests itself in these processes, he makes an argument for not just how creativity emerges through specific material engagements but also why creativity might be especially valued at particular moments.