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TITLE Το μινωικό σείστρο ως παράδειγμα της διακίνησης θρησκευτικών ιδεών, πρακτικών και αντικειμένων μεταξύ Κρήτης και Αιγύπτου στη Μέση Εποχή του Χαλκού
AUTHOR Σίκλα Εύη
LANGUAGE Ελληνικά / Greek
PUBLISH DATE 03.12.2018
KEYWORDS σείστρα, σχέσεις Κρήτης-Αιγύπτου, μινωική θρησκεία, μεσομινωική περίοδος, διακίνηση θρησκευτικών ιδεών, μετάδοση τελετουργικών πρακτικών
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As a cultic percussion instrument, the sistrum has been intimately associated with Egyptian ritual and religion since the Old Kingdom period. The appearance of the sistrum in Middle Minoan funerary contexts is customarily considered an example of Egyptian influence on Minoan religion and a symptom of the intensification of interactions between Crete and Egypt in the early Middle Bronze Age. Since the Egyptian sistrum is specifically connected with the cult of the goddess Hathor, it has been suggested that the Minoans became familiar with Hathor’s cult while visiting Egypt, associated Hathor as a fertility goddess with their own fertility goddess and created the Minoan sistrum using the Egyptian sistrum as a model. In this paper, I explore further the nature of religious interconnections between Crete and Egypt by taking a closer look at the available information on Egyptian sistra and their contexts of use, as well as their association with the Minoan contexts within an interpretive framework informed by the comparative study of how different religions interact when they come into contact. Two issues relating to the early history of the Minoan sistrum are highlighted, that is, the extent to which the Minoan sistrum suggests the presence of Minoans in Egypt, and if, in this case, Egyptian influence includes the transmission of Egyptian religious beliefs to Crete. I argue that the evidence relating to both Egyptian and Minoan sistra suggests that the Minoan sistrum was the outcome of some Minoans’ experience of Hathoric funerary rituals in Egypt and that the Minoan sistrum is a purely Minoan creation that does not imply the transfer of Egyptian religious ideas to Crete.