Minoan Religion Essay

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In all societies, the practices associated with religion, burial and death have given archaeology and history detailed information concerning the nature of a society. It is through the study of symbology in particular that we are able to discern the significance of the Minoan religion as it represents various aspects of their religious beliefs and display the impact it has on their everyday lives. Key symbols like the birds, bulls, horns of consecration and double axe can be seen throughout the island of Crete as well as on votive offerings given to their gods from their worshippers. Birds can be seen throughout the island whether it be on the frescoes or as a rhyton used for drinking. Birds also have some significance in their relation to…show more content…
Butterflies are frequently discernible in Minoan art and can be found in the form of gold pendants as well as embossed into gold scales. The detail as to how the butterfly 's wings are portrayed in Minoan art and seals bare a distinct similarity between it and the labrys, specifically on a seal’s impression found in Zakros. This theory is hypothesised by Marija Gimbutas an American archaeologist known for work her in the Bronze Age culture of ‘old Europe’. As a result of this belief the labrys hit as also become synonymous for matriarchy. Just like a female divinity would carry power and an important role, any women seen holding the labrys is assumed to of been in a similar position. Votive offerings are presents given by a worshipper to honour their god. Models of the labrys were the most popular votive offering and they were made of various materials such as gold, bronze, ivory or lead. Animal figurines have also been discovered and the models of food on a plate may represent sacrifices for the gods. Models of bulls were common votive offerings by the Minoan worshippers. Some of the models were either burnt or broken deliberately to deter thieves, whilst others were stuffed into holes in the ground so that the earth god could receive

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