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TITLE Reconstructing Cult Practices from Secondary Sources in Minoan Crete
AUTHOR Pareja Marie
LANGUAGE Αγγλικά / English
PUBLISH DATE 06.05.2019
KEYWORDS Bronze Age Aegean, Minoan, Monkey, Ape, Iconography, Trade, Near East, Egypt, Akrotiri, Reconstruction, Ritual, Ceremony, Wall Painting, Fresco, Seals
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Among the scenes in Minoan glyptic are images whose iconography suggests they may be borrowed from longer narratives. By identifying specific elements that reappear several times in seals, it may be possible to reconstruct some ceremonial practices. One example is furnished by a group of images including monkeys, baskets, women, and crocuses that tie together a series of images in seals and fresco. These images, when considered together, seem to derive from one over-arching narrative that may be illustrative of ritual behaviors. If this is the case, it becomes possible to reconstruct the participants in and basic procedures of the depicted ceremony.

A two-step reconstruction of a crocus ceremony becomes possible with the close examination of both Minoan wall paintings and glyptic sources. First, the crocus stamens are gathered by female figures and/or monkeys into baskets. Then, some of the saffron-bearing stamens are offered to the seated nature goddess. This general reconstruction of a crocus ceremony serves as one example of the many ways in which wall paintings and glyptic sources are closely related and may be read together. By coupling the readings and interpretations of individual iconographic elements from both media, one gains the ability to glean larger narratives from the series of vignettes presented in Minoan art.