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Minoan Horns of Consecration



Minoan Civilization Religion


Minoan bullleaping by Ancient Images

The attempt to reconstruct religious practices and ideas from buildings and pictures is fraught with danger, but some deductions can be safely drawn.

Minoan sites normally do not possess separate buildings identifiable as temples, though a curious exception to this rule has been discovered at the Minoan "colony" on Keos.

Special rooms and areas of palaces and important houses were set aside as shrines for ritual purposes. Large cult images are not normally found, but again Keos is an exception.

The most characteristic religious symbols are the double ax and the U-shaped "horns of consecration."

Cult figurines, however, are plentiful. Many are crude and roughly made of terra cotta. The most common type is of a standing female figure with uplifted hands. Several figurines of fine workmanship show the goddess dressed in the height of Minoan fashion, holding a snake in either hand. Snake cults survived into classical Greece, where they were associated with the god of healing.

Outside the palaces, cult places were set up in two types of location. High on the mountains, often on a conspicuous peak, small sanctuaries were built.

They were probably occupied only once a year for a festival, like the modern Christian chapels in similar locations. Offering-tables and jars found on these sites indicate that agricultural produce was offered here to the deity.

Caves also were treated as sacred. Some of these, too, were high in the mountains, but a more accessible one at Amnisos near Knossos had a long history, receiving offerings from the Middle Minoan down to the classical period.

During the Late Minoan II period Greek archives of Knossos record offerings of honey sent to this cave for the goddess known to the later Greeks as Eileithyia, the patron of childbirth. This cave is mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey.

Later tradition told strange tales of Cretan deities, especially of a Zeus who died and was periodically reborn.

How much of these traditions was founded on Minoan beliefs is impossible to say. Clearly, when the Greeks took over Crete they absorbed the local cults into their own polytheistic religion, identifying Cretan deities with their own.

A painted sarcophagus from the Greek (Late Minoan) period has been interpreted as depicting the soul's journey to the other world and religious rites in connection with the dead. As usual, such pictures provide a glimpse that is only tantalizing, so long as they cannot be associated with a written text.


MyIndiamyGlory

Bull-Leaping
My interest in the Minoan civilization of Crete was sparked when I noted a conspicuous parallel between the Indus and Minoan cultures – that of the popularity of the sport of bull-leaping. Indus seals from c.2600 BCE onwards show acrobats leaping over a bull, while in Cretan art bull-leaping appears at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age in c.1700 BCE.

Fig 1: The bull-leaping fresco at the Great Palace at Knossos, Crete, dated to c.1450-1400 BCE. Two men are positioned at each end of the bull, while another somersault over the bull. Public domain image.

Bull-leaping was extremely popular in Minoan Crete. At the Great Palace at Knossos, bull-leaping was prominently depicted on frescoes. Archaeologists believe that t he large ceremonial courtyard at the center of the Knossos palace complex may have served as the bull-ring, as the major entrances leading to the courtyard were adorned with paintings of processions and bull-leaping.

Fig 2: Impression of a Banawali seal from c.2300 – 1700 BCE, showing an acrobat leaping over a bull. Source: UMESAO 2000:88, No. 335

This reminded me of the Indus Valley site of Dholavira, where archaeologists have found a large ceremonial ground furnished with tiered, stepped, stands on all four sides.[1] A ceremonial pathway led from the castle to the stadium. Could it be that the ceremonial ground at Dholavira also served as an arena for bull-leaping games?

Another piece of Minoan art that caught my attention was a three-dimensional bronze figurine of a Minoan bull leaper from c.1600 BCE, fashioned using the lost wax method. It is well-known that the Indus artisans had perfected this technique, well over a thousand years earlier. The famous “dancing girl” figurine of Mohenjo-Daro from c.3000 BCE was cast using the lost-wax method. I wondered how the Minoans acquired the skill to make these bronze statues in the second millennium BCE, when Crete had no natural sources of copper or tin to make bronze, and relied on an extensive maritime network to obtain these materials.

Fig 3: Bronze figurine of a Minoan bull leaper, Crete c. 1600 BCE, made using the lost-wax method. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Mike Peel CC-BY-SA 4.0

Is it possible that a group of Indus tribes settled in Crete sometime around 1700 BCE, soon after the Indus Valley civilization started to collapse at around 1900 BCE, and took with them their cultural practices and technological skills? Bull-leaping and the lost-wax method of bronze casting appears in Minoan Crete roughly 200 years after the collapse of the Indus civilization. So, the timing is just about right. There is a sufficiently large window of time for a migration to have taken place.

As I discussed in my earlier article “Bull-Leaping: Did it spread from the Indus Valley to Syria, Egypt, and Crete?”[2], the collapse of the Indus Valley had set off a chain of migrations out of the most densely populated civilization of the ancient times. The Kushites moved from the Indus Valley to Ethiopia, and probably played a part in introducing bull-leaping in Avaris in the 15 th century BCE, while the Mitanni migrated to Syria and Turkey where bull-leaping images start appearing from the 15 th century BCE as well.

Could it be, therefore, that certain Indus tribes migrated to Minoan Crete sometime around 1700 BCE? If so, elements of the Indus Valley culture should be reflected in the social, religious, and technological aspects of the Minoan society. In this brief comparative study of the two cultures, I have identified a number of interesting parallels between the two civilizations, which indicates deep cultural interactions.

Water Management Techniques

Although the Minoan civilization flourished on the Aegean island of Crete from around c.3600 BCE, it was only around 1900 BCE (the Protopalatial Period) that they started constructing large palaces. A terrible cataclysm in Crete, possibly an earthquake, led to the utter destruction of the old palaces. This was followed by the Neopalatial Periodfrom 1700 BCE – 1450 BCE, which marked the apex of the Minoan civilization.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Minoan palaces of the Neopalatial Period was their highly-sophisticated water management techniques, which are astonishingly similar to those found in the Indus Valley cities from c.3000 BCE.

The palace at Knossos (Crete), as well as the houses of the Indus Valley cities, had toilets on the upper floors from where the waste water was carried by vertical terracotta pipes to a network of underground sewers. In Crete, the sewerage system was built of stone and lined with cement, while in the Indus cities both bricks and stones were used. The sewers were provided with manholes, through which municipal workers could enter the sewers and remove the sullage. The Minoans and the Indus inhabitants also built large storm water drains for carrying the rain water away from the city.

Fig 4: Water Management Systems in Minoan Crete and IVC

For drinking water, the Minoans and the Indus people built numerous wells, as well as huge reservoirs which were filled using rain-water harvesting techniques. Dholavira (Indus Valley) saw a remarkable innovation – a series of dams diverted the river waters to fill up a complex network of 16 reservoirs that surrounded the town. Aqueducts brought freshwater from the springs to the palace at Knossos, which was distributed throughout the palace through a network of terracotta piping located beneath the palace floors. In Dholavira, aqueducts carried the waters from the reservoirs to the heart of the city, while canals carried them into the fields for irrigation.

All the water management techniques employed by the Minoans during the Neopalatial Period had been in use in the Indus Valley since c.3000 BCE.

How did the Minoans acquire these sophisticated hydraulic technologies at the beginning of the Neopalatial Period in c.1700 BCE, when none of their neighboring cultures in the Mediterranean possess them? The technologies appear in their mature state, without a corresponding period of development. Could there have been an infusion of technology from outside Crete?

If so, the only place from where these water management techniques could have been introduced into Crete was the Indus Valley, for it was the only contemporary civilization that had implemented these technologies since c.3000 BCE.

The Goddess Cult

Goddess worship was popular in the Indus Valley, as well as in Minoan Crete, as indicated by the discovery of a large number of female terracotta figurines, at least some of which were probably goddess figures.

A particularly important Minoan deity was the Snake Goddess – a name given to a striking terracotta figurine depicting a woman holding a snake in each hand. Her figurines were found only in house sanctuaries, indicating that she was a household cult goddess. Another terracotta figurine identified as the Snake Goddess has snakes entwined around her body.

An almost exact counterpart of this deity in India is called Manasa. She is still a popular household deity amongst the village folks in the eastern part of India, particularly in Bengal. Manasa is the goddess of snakes, often depicted holding snakes with both hands, and attended by snakes. She provides protection from snake bites and immunity from danger. She is eulogized as the most enchanting and graceful in the three worlds (Jagadgauri), possessing supreme wisdom (Maha Jnanayuta), who can even revive the dead (Mrtasamjivani).

Fig 5: Minoan and Indian Snake Goddess.

A hymn dedicated to Manasa, quoted by Kasirama Vacaspati, correlates very closely to the Minoan terracotta figurines of the Snake Goddess:

“I take shelter unto the goddess, the mother of Astika. She has a young child (on her lap). She shines like the golden lotus. Huge snakes always attend on her on all sides. She has full and prominent bosoms. She holds two snakes in her two hands. She has a smiling countenance, and is decorated with the ornaments of shining snakes.”[3]

Manasa was popular amongst the tribal cultures as well, and was worshipped by the Buddhists as the serpent goddess Janguli. Her worship extends back to the very early periods of history, for even in the Atharva Veda (X.4.14 X.4.24) a poison-dispelling goddess called Taudi / Ghrtaci is mentioned. It is possible, therefore, that Indus sea-faring traders carried the worship of Manasa to Crete. A Snake Goddess with a similar iconography and enjoying popular appeal is rarely to be found in other cultures. Moreover, Manasa has been traditionally popular amongst the mercantile class of Bengal, and the Minoans were also a mercantile people engaged in overseas trade.



Another Minoan goddess is called the “Mistress of Animals”. She was a Mountain Goddess who was worshipped at peak sanctuaries since the Protopalatial Period (c.1900 BCE) i.e. when the first large palaces and villas were built. On a seal from Knossos, she is shown standing on top of a mountain, holding a staff, attended by lionesses, and receiving adoration from a worshipper. She can be readily identified with the Hindu Goddess Durga, who rides a lion, holds a spear, and whose shrines dot the hill-tops in the Indian countryside.

Fig 6: Minoan and Indian lion-riding Mountain Goddess.

Interestingly, one of the most well-known acts of goddess Durga was the slaying of the buffalo-demon Mahishasura, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Cretan Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and body, who was confined in the center of the Labyrinth in Crete, receiving annual offerings of youths and maidens to eat, until he was killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. While the legend of Mahishasura and the Minotaur are quite different, their representations in art and sculpture are similar enough to raise eyebrows.

Fig 7: Mahishasura and the Minotaur

A lion-riding goddess of war and fertility, however, was popular all over the Middle-east such as Inanna (Sumeria), Ishtar (Assyria / Babylonia), Al-lat (Arabia), Astarte (Phoenicia) etc. from the very ancient times. So, the Cretan Mistress of Animals may have been influenced by the Middle-eastern cultures at an early stage, and subsequently by migrants from the Indus Valley.

Fig 8: Ancient Akkadian cylinder seal depicting Inanna / Ishtar resting her foot on the back of a lion, while Ninshubur stands in front of her paying obeisance, c. 2334-2154 BCE. Public Domain image.

Tree Worship
The worship of sacred trees and boughs (i.e. branches broken from the trees) took a very prominent place in the Minoan religion. Although tree-worship was prevalent across the world, as shown by Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough, the engravings on a number of Minoan gold rings show a close similarity to Buddhist iconography and customs.

The Ring of Minos from Knossos depicts a detailed tree worship scene. On the left, a Minoan woman is holding onto the branch of a sacred tree. She may be praying for fertility, for it was believed in the ancient world that holding the branch of a sacred tree promotes fertility and eases childbirth. In the nativity of Lord Buddha, his mother Maya Devi is shown holding the branch of an Ashoka tree. The Minoan lady can also be interpreted as the benevolent, wish-fulfilling, tree-spirit called yakshi, who is generally represented in Indian art as a voluptuous maiden entwined with the tree and holding on to a branch.

Fig 9: Tree-worship on the Ring of Minos and Indo- Buddhist art

In the center of the image on the Minoan ring, there is a sacred tree within an enclosure, which looks similar to the sacred tree in Buddhist sculptures. To the right of the sacred tree, a male helper appears to be plucking the fruit of the sacred tree, possibly with the intention of offering it to the seated female worshipper. This is a continuing tradition in India, where-in barren women consume the fruit of the sacred tree to promote conception. For instance, the mango tree occurs frequently amongst the sculptures of Bharhut stupa (c.184 BCE), and its fruit is believed to be symbolic of male progeny[4]. Since the Minoan sacred tree has been identified botanically as either fig or olive[5], the consumption of its fruit for promoting fertility may have been a prevalent custom.

The seated female worshipper is looking towards the sky at what seems to be an angelic figure. This is a common motif in Buddhist art, where angelic beings hover around the sacred tree, often carrying garlands and other offerings.

Minoan tree-worship customs and iconography, therefore, are very similar to that of India of the early historical period. Historians believe that Hindu-Buddhist tree worship practices are a continuation of Indus Valley traditions, for a tree-spirit is depicted on multiple Indus seals.

Fig 10: This ring from Tiryns shows a man holding a sacred tree which is planted in an enclosure containing a pillar / baetyl. Source: benedante.blogspot.in

A couple of more similarities caught my attention. On some Minoan rings, the tree grows out of a shrine which contains within it a sacred pillar, indicating that the pillar and the plant are symbolically interrelated . [6] This custom still prevails in India where a Shiva-Linga can be seen installed at the base of a peepal tree. Sir Arthur Evans had noted this connection, for he writes that, “In India, where worship of this primitive character is perhaps best illustrated at the present day, the collocation of tree and stone is equally frequent.” [7]

Fig 11: The Phourni ring shows a man embracing a rock, and another man grasping a tree, a while a lady worshipper looks on. Source: benedante.blogspot.in

A couple of more similarities caught my attention. On some Minoan rings, the tree grows out of a shrine which contains within it a sacred pillar, indicating that the pillar and the plant are symbolically interrelated.[6] This custom still prevails in India where a Shiva-Linga can be seen installed at the base of a peepal tree. Sir Arthur Evans had noted this connection, for he writes that, “In India, where worship of this primitive character is perhaps best illustrated at the present day, the collocation of tree and stone is equally frequent.”[7]

Some Minoan rings show a male or female figure kneeling and embracing a stone or pitcher near the sacred tree. This can be explained in the context of the worship ofShashti, the Hindu goddess of fertility and childbirth, for Shashti is worshipped by the rural folks in the form of a banyan tree, a red-colored stone placed below the sacred tree, or an earthenware pitcher.

Thus, Minoan tree-worship customs can be effectively explained through an analogy with ancient Indian practices. Although an ancient tree-goddess called Asherah (who was worshipped under trees or in the form of a sacred pole) was popular in Syria, Phoenicia and Canaan, very little is known of their specific customs or iconography in order to draw a parallel with Crete.

The Sacred Pillar

Pillar worship was an integral part of the Minoan religion. Caves were sacred places, and naturally formed pillars (stalagmites) in caves were worshipped by the Minoans since the Protopalatial Period (c.1900 BCE). A number of cult caves with rich votive offerings have been found, of which the most well-known is the “Cave of Eileithyia” which has a cylindrical stalagmite enclosed by a rectangular wall.

Fig 12: Worship of stalagmites inside cave sanctuaries in Crete and India.

Indians still worship stalagmites within caves as manifestations of Shiva, and many such cave shrines are scattered across the country. Whether it is the ice-stalagmite at the famous cave shrine of Amarnath in Kashmir, or the naturally formed stone stalagmite at the Gupteshwar cave in Orissa – they continue to draw thousands of pilgrims every year.

Every Minoan palace had a number of small, dark, rooms called “pillar rooms” or “pillar crypts”, which contained a central pillar (or two rectangular pillars) of ritual significance.A quadrangular channel (or depression) surrounded the central pillar in the royal palaces at Knossos and Hagia Triadha.[8] A pair of basins or vats were connected to the channel on opposite sides.

Fig 13: Pillar Crypt in the Royal Villa Knossos resembles the form of a Shiva Linga

This brings to mind the structure of a Shiva-Linga where the central pillar (symbolizing the cosmic form of Shiva as a fiery column of light) is surrounded by a channel which drains out the water offered as libation to the deity. In the Minoan pillar rooms, remains of large oil-jars have been found, which indicates that libations were offered to the pillar deity, which may have flowed through the channels into the basins. A pillar in the palace of Mallia in eastern Crete has a “trident” symbol engraved on it [9], which reinforces the connection with Shiva, since the trident is the foremost symbol of Shiva in modern iconography.

Shiva was worshipped in his pillar form since the Indus days. Pillar-shaped stones, resembling the Shiva-linga, have been found at Harappa and Kalibangan. At Dholavira, archaeologists have discovered circular huts with a limestone pillar base in the center(with a hole on top of the pillar), resembling the pillar rooms of the Minoan palaces.

Fig 14: Pillar Rooms in the Indus Valley and Minoan Crete

While it is tempting to think that pillar worship in Crete was a result of an Indus Valley influence, it must be noticed that the Minoan pillars are square or rectangular in form as opposed to the rounded Shiva-Lingas of India. These kinds of square, sacred pillars were popular amongst the people of Syria, Canaan, and Arabia. The Suda Lexicon, which was compiled at the end of the 10 th century, states:

“Theus Ares (Dushara): this is the god Ares in Arabic Petra. They worship the god Ares and venerate him above all. His statue is anunworked square black stone. It is four-foot high and two-feet wide. It rests on a golden base. They make sacrifices to him and before him they anoint the blood of the sacrifice that is their anointment.”

At the archaeological site of Tel Gezer in Israel, archaeologists have discovered aCanaanite “high place” where a row of ten, monumental, rectangular, standing stones, each of which is called a masseba or matseva (note the correlation between suffix seba / seva and Shiva) had been erected at around 1600 BCE. The Phoenician temples also had carefully wrought sacred columns Herodotus states that the temple of Melkart at Tyre contained two sacred pillars.

Fig 15: Tel Gezer stone pillars at a Canaanite “high place”. Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Hebrews also regarded stone pillars as a sacred representation or habitation of a deity. The Old Testament frequently records them raising sacred stones as monuments as a reminder of God’s covenant and for commemorating significant events. For instance:

“And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had set up for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. (Genesis 28 18-19)
“And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the LORD” (Joshua 2426).

The worship of stone pillars as a sacred representation of a deity was prevalent throughout the Middle-east since the very ancient times. It is possible, therefore, that Minoan pillar worship was initially influenced by the Middle-eastern cultures, with a subsequent Indus influence starting from around 1900 BCE.

The Horns of Consecration

The term “horns of consecration” was coined by Sir Arthur Evans to refer to the u-shaped, stylized rendering of a bull’s horns by the Minoans. Usually made of alabaster or clay, they were used for decorating altars and were displayed prominently on the roofs of palaces and peak sanctuaries in Neopalatial Crete. Horns of consecration were also used as decorative motifs on pottery, and as votive offerings at shrines.

Fig 16: Reconstructed Horns of Consecration at Knossos made of porous limestone. Public Domain Image

The significance of the horns of consecration remain shrouded in mystery. Do they symbolize the horns of a bull, the distant mountain-tops of Crete, or hands raised in prayers? There is no unambiguous explanation for this sacred cult symbol.

My initial thinking was that the horns of consecration may symbolize Nandi – the bull of Shiva – who acts as Shiva’s vahana (carrier) and as a gatekeeper of Shiva’s abode. A stone image of a seated Nandi is generally installed in front of a Shiva temple, with the face of Nandi facing the main shrine. But this does not explain why the Minoans placed the u-shaped symbol on their altars and on top of the peak sanctuaries.

Fig 17: A reconstruction of the tripartite shrine found on the Procession fresco at Knossos. Source: http://antiquatedantiquarian.blogspot.in

I noticed that some of the stone pillars (masseba) raised by the Canaanites had a pair of horns on top. The “horned altar” of the Israelites used for burnt sacrificial offerings (incense, grains, wine, or animals) had horns at each of the four corners. In fact, some of horned altars discovered at the biblical site of Be’er Sheva look surprisingly similar to the Minoan horns of consecration! The u-shaped symbol, in both cases, have been fashioned out of two stone pieces joined together at the base.

Fig 18: A reassembled horned altar at Tel Be’er Sheba. Source: Youtbe/ Zahi Shaked

Fig 19: Horned Incense Altar found at Megiddo, 10th century BCE. Source: uchicago.edu

But what do the horns signify? Since the horns appears on top of pillars, or pillar-like stone altars, my guess is that it is probably a symbol associated with Shiva. In the Indus Valley depictions of Shiva as a seated yogi, he is shown wearing a horned head-dress. In modern depictions of Shiva, however, the horned head-dress is missing. What we find instead is a crescent moon in his matted locks, which is the source of amrita (nectar). The Phoenician war-goddess Astarte (the counterpart of the Babylonian Ishtar and Hindu Durga) also wears a crescent moon as a crown, resembling a pair of horns.

Fig 20: Horns and Crescent Symbols

The crescent moon also appears as a finial on top of Islamic mosques as well as some Hindu temples, just as the Minoan horns of consecration are placed at the apex of their peak sanctuaries. This custom was probably guided by the ancient cosmic conception that the temple spire represents the cosmic axis-mundi and the moon god was stationed on top of this axis. The incense altars of Saudi Arabia were built according to the same principle – the altar was either horned or had a crescent moon inscribed on top. Nannar, the Sumerian Moon-god (who later became identified with Sin, the Moon-god of the Assyrians and Babylonians) was depicted with a crescent moon on his crown, pillars topped with crescent signs, and horned altars.

Fig 21: Horns of Consecration and Crescent Symbols

It is very likely, therefore, that the u-shaped horns of consecration of Minoan Crete were a stylized rendering of the crescent moon on top of the cosmic axis-mundi. The stylistic similarity of this symbol with the Canaanite and Israelite renditions suggests that, in this respect, the Cretans may have been influenced by the Middle-eastern cultures.

Bull Sacrifice
Although the so-called horns of consecration did not have anything to do with bulls, it is well-known that bulls played an important part in Minoan society. The Minoans sacrificed bulls as part of their funerary rites, as depicted on the Hagia Triadha sarcophagus. Indus Valley seals also indicate a funerary custom of sacrificing water buffaloes.

Fig 22: Minoan and Indus bull / buffalo sacrifice

This practice continues amongst many tribal societies of India and South Asia, as documented by Francesco Brighenti in his informative article.[10] It appears that the tribals believe that the spirit of the sacrificed water buffalo acts as a “supernatural guide” of the soul of the deceased in its journey to the underworld. The afterworld, itself, was sometimes conceived of as a celestial buffalo, where the clan’s ancestral spirits assembled. Bull sacrifice was widely dispersed in the ancient world, and it is likely that it was an ancient custom of Crete

A Multicultural Minoan Society
One of the surprising aspects of the Minoan and Indus cultures is the absence of any signs of warfare. No implements of war have been found, no depictions of soldiers, fighting, or captives are to be seen on their pottery, frescoes, rings, or seals. Both cultures appear to have been peace-loving, industrious, and technologically advanced, practicing simple rites, free of ostentatiousness. The Swastika symbol has been found in profuse numbers in both cultures, indicating a propensity towards peace, good luck, and well-being.

Women enjoyed an elevated status in both Minoan and Indus society. On Minoan frescoes, women are shown dressed ornately and participating in public life. At the Indus sites, archaeologists have found terracotta female figurines adorned with jewelry and elaborate head-dresses, indicative of high social status.

A Minoan fresco shows a dignified female, possibly the Minoan queen, being carried through a crowd on a palanquin, quite like the Indian kings and queens who were carried around on a palanquin on ceremonial or religious occasions. A Cretan gem engraving shows a “woman blowing a shell trumpet before an altar with horns of consecration, apparently to invoke the presence of the gods.”[11] As is well-known, the blowing of a conch shell in a ritualistic context still continues in the Hindu-Buddhist religion.

The Minoan society, quite strikingly, was multicultural. The frescoes depict an admixture of men and women with white and brown complexion, participating in cultural and religious activities. This is one of the reasons why, when Sir Arthur Evans had discovered Palace of Knossos in Crete in 1900, he had surmised that the Minoans may have been refugees from the delta region of Egypt.

Fig 23: The multicultural Minoan society

Recent genetic studies based on mitochondrial DNA markers, however, refute Arthur Evans’s North African hypothesis. It seems that the early population of Crete descended from the Neolithic people who migrated to Europe from the Middle East and Turkey starting from around 7000 BCE.[12] Wolfgang Haak, a molecular archaeologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia, thinks that Crete’s early history is complicated, with multiple Neolithic populations arriving at different times.[13]

Neolithic migrations from the Middle East could account for some of the early cult symbols of the Minoans such as the sacred pillars, the horns of consecration, and the lion-riding deity known as the Mistress of Animals who was worshipped in peak sanctuaries.

However, another migration into Crete may have taken place at a later date – sometime before the beginning of the Neopalatial Period at around 1700 BCE. This migration, possibly from the Indus Valley, has not yet been considered by archaeologists, and has been generally overlooked in genetic studies.

The Indus migrants may have brought into Minoan Crete a number of technological innovations and religious practices such as advanced water management techniques, the lost-wax method of bronze casting, the bull-leaping sport, the worship of the Snake Goddess, Pillar Worship in cave sanctuaries, and Tree Worship rituals. The depiction of white and brown-skinned people on Minoan frescoes is an important indicator of this migrant population.

Interestingly, the Minoan Linear A script as well as the Indus script are still undeciphered. What makes this coincidence even more striking is that some of the Linear A signs look exactly like those of the Indus script. According to Dr. Gareth Alun Owens, Linear A represents the Minoan language, which Owens classifies as a distinct branch of Indo-European with strong connections to Sanskrit. At “The Cretan Literature Centre”, Dr. Owens stated:
″Beginning our research with inscriptions in Linear A carved on offering tables found in the many peak sanctuaries on the mountains of Crete, we recognise a clear relationship between Linear A and Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. There is also a connection to Hittite and Armenian. This relationship allows us to place the Minoan language among the so-called Indo-European languages, a vast family that includes modern Greek and the Latin of Ancient Rome.”[14]

In my opinion, the coastal Indus sites like Dholavira or Lothal are the most likely sources of the migrant population to Crete. Dholavira has a number of conspicuous parallels with the Minoan civilization, as already pointed out. Besides, the migration to Crete is likely to have been accomplished by sea-faring traders, who probably sailed across the Indian Ocean and up the Red Sea to reach Avaris, the capital of the Hyksos in the Nile Delta, and from there sailed down the Nile to the Mediterranean Sea, and reached Crete.

The hypothesis highlights an important historical event that has been generally ignored in cultural studies – the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization at around 1900 BCE, and the subsequent migrations out of this densely populated ancient civilization. It had a far-reaching effect in taking Indic culture to distant shores, the signs of which are visible even today.

[1] “Excavations-Dholavira”, Archaeological Survey of India <http://asi.nic.in/asi_exca_2007_dholavira.asp>

[2] Bibhu Dev Misra, “Bull-Leaping: Did it spread from the Indus Valley to Syria, Egypt, and Crete?” 13 Jan 2017 <http://www.bibhudevmisra.com/2017/01/bull-leaping-did-it-spread-from-indus.html>

[3] Thomas E. Donaldson, Iconography of the Buddhist Sculpture of Orissa (Abhinav Publications, 2001) 405.

[4] Pradyot Kumar Maity, Human Fertility Cults and Rituals of Bengal: A Comparative Study, (Abhinav Publications, 1989) 181

[5] Carole M. Cusack, The Sacred Tree: Ancient and Medieval Manifestations (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011) 33.

[6] Marija Gimbutas, The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 6500-3500 B.C.: Myths and Cult Images (University of California Press, 2007) 80.

[7] Arthur John Evans, The Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult and Its Mediterranean Relations (Cambridge University Press, 2013) 8

[8] Marija Gimbutas, The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 6500-3500 B.C.: Myths and Cult Images (University of California Press, 2007) 79.

[9] Martin Persson Nilsson, The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and Its Survival in Greek Religion (Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1950) 242

[10] Francesco Brighenti, “Buffalo Sacrifice and Tribal Mortuary Rituals”, Svabhinava.org 10 March 2007 <http://www.svabhinava.org/friends/FrancescoBrighenti/BuffaloSacrifice-frame.php>

[11] Martin Persson Nilsson, The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and Its Survival in Greek Religion (Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1950) 220

[12] Hughey, J. R. et al. A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete. Nat. Commun. 4:1861 doi: 10.1038/ncomms2871 (2013).

[13] Ewen Callaway,”Minoan Civilization Originated in Europe, Not Egypt” Nature Magazine 15 May 2013 <http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/minoan-civilization-origin-europe-not-egypt/>
[14] “Linear A” in Wikipedia.

This article was first published at the author’s personal blog.


Minoan Horns of Consecration - History


Happy 2010, everyone. Rise and shine! Party's over so let's get back to dead languages. (Coffee helps a hangover so drink up, my puppies.)

Let's talk about the Minoan name for ''Minoa'' (ie. Crete and the surrounding region controlled by Minoans in the 2nd millenium BCE). Although we continue to use Sir Evan's label for Minoans, there's little mystery anymore what we probably should be calling them: Kaptarians. Alas, even so, I don't think the name will catch on any more than Nessite for the technically incorrect term Hittite. We have Kaptara in Mari texts, the Akkadian rendering Kabturi, Egyptian *Kaftiu (kftiw) and Biblical Kapthor. All of these names point to Crete and Minoan civilization. Yet if we know this much, we must ask: What exactly was the Minoan form of the name then and what did the name mean?

So far, I've settled on the form *Kapadar with stress accent fixed on the first syllable, as is the norm in Proto-Aegean languages. If *-r is the Minoan plural (nb. U-NA-(RU-)KA-NA-SI = una(r) kanasi 'they bear a libation/libations' Etruscan -(a)r [animate plural]), there may be a singular noun *kapada here. But then, what would that word even sensibly mean in a way that explains the name for Crete? (Yes, I realize this is wild conjecture so far but bear with me.)

Coincidentally Latin capitalis 'capital, of the head' from whence English capital, a column, is derived from caput 'head'. Germanic *haubida- 'head' is related in some way but the reconstruction of PIE *kaput is illegitimate when supported by only two adjacent branches in Western Europe which don't even obey accepted sound correspondences. I don't have faith in it and it makes me suspect that, to the contrary, this is not a genuine PIE root but rather evidence of an underlying Proto-Aegean word *kapada 'summit', which would have syncopated in Pre-Etruscan, yielding Etruscan *capaθ , precisely the form to explain the source of Latin caput. The semantics work as well since the 'head' is the 'summit' of the body. (You may be asking "Why 'summit'??" but, again, bear with me because this all ties together.)

Solving the 'caput caper', we come back to this name for Crete, *Kapadar , and an interesting value now of 'Summits' or 'Peaks'. But what summits? Why, the divine peaks, of course: Mount Ida (Minoan *I d a I-DA) and Mount Dikte (Minoan *Adíkitu A-DI-KI-TU). We know these two in particular to be very sacred to the Minoans. That might explain the Horns of Consecration motif in Knossos, pictured below, which start to look a lot like twin peaks much like the undoubtedly related Egyptian aker symbolism also pictured below. The Egyptian symbol is reverence to both the evening sun as it passes into the underworld and the morning sun as it rises out of it and I doubt the meaning behind the Minoan symbol was much different.


Now we see why the value of 'summit' for an Aegean root *kapada works well to tie all of these ideas together. So is it possible that the true Minoan name for Minoa was also the name of an important symbol of their world-view?


Finding Remnants of Minoan Civilization in Knossos

Contemplating the Horns of Consecration at the Palace of Knossos

When I was young I learned about some of the ancient myths from books, at school or on TV. The legend of the Minotaur on Crete was one that stood out for me even though I knew nothing of the civilization that created it. Although I picked up the original story from the Greek myths, I have to admit a scene in the classic Terry Gilliam film Time Bandits stuck with me as much as the original stories. I always wondered where the Minotaur lived, and also wondered whether the labyrinth was as tricky to escape from as the stories said.

Located south of the modern city of Heraklion, the Palace of Knossos stands as the reminder of the ancient Minoans, a civilization that existed from 3000-1450 BC.

During our stay in Crete last year we visited the palace as well as the museum in Heraklion where many of the pieces found at Knossos are on display. We first drove to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, located a bit south of the harbour. We purchased a combination ticket online that gave us entry to both the museum and the palace site.

The museum held a large number objects that ranged from jewelry to pottery to giant axes. We spent a couple of hours there and probably could have spent a little more if we hadn’t moved quickly through a few spots where the tour groups were heavy.

  • The bull was a common theme
  • Figures representing the Snake Goddess Cult

After spending time at the museum we drove out to the palace. There’s free parking a short distance from the complex, although there are also pay lots even closer. There were a number of touristy places within walking distance, from shops selling trinkets to basic restaurants.

It only took about 15 minutes to drive from the museum in Heraklion to the Palace of Knossos (lower right)

The grounds of the palace covered about 150,000 square feet (14,000 square metres), larger than two football fields. The area had been inhabited for a few thousand years before the first palace was finished around 1900 BC on top of previous settlements. It was destroyed about 200 years later (either by an earthquake or invaders) before being rebuilt even grander than before. Eventually it too disappeared along with the Minoan civilization and little remains today. Some speculate it was wiped out by the massive tsunami caused by the eruption in Santorini, while others believe invading Greeks destroyed it following an invasion. Whatever the reason, the Minoans left behind only scattered remnants of their once-thriving civilization.

Taking a nap near the entrance to the palace complex The Palace Complex was too large to get in a single photo. This was the widest shot I could get and it shows only a small portion

The site had excellent signage in Greek and English that explained most of the reconstructed buildings as well as some of the original ruins. We were fortunate so only have a few tour groups around when we were there, so it was not quiet but not too crowded either.

  • Reconstructed buildings
Looking out over the parts of the complex largely left alone The Hall of the Double Axes, a double chamber that had an indoor and outdoor space

One thing I learned about the site at Knossos was that there has been a lively debate about the restoration work done there. Much of it was done by Sir Arthur Evans in the early 20th century. His vision was inspired by Minoan culture rather than being faithful to the original design.

By not leaving the original remains intact, Evans was practising restoration rather than conservation with some complaining that it damaged the original design. The reconstructed buildings mostly represent the latest era of the Minoans as well as the Mycenaean era. While this is noted at the site, many might not know this. On the other hand, it has been argued that the restoration work may have saved the site from being completely lost. Regardless of the controversy, we found the site to be impressive and the restoration work gave a sense of the grand palace from long ago.

It was interesting to seem them combined, with some areas left largely intact while others had buildings constructed over them. We have visited places that have been left alone to conservation, and while I appreciate viewing authentic remains, there often isn’t much to look at besides cut stones and outlines of structures in the ground.

  • Looking down at the Grand Staircase in the East Wing

The complex was very walkable, with a lot of flat surfaces and generally wide steps. Much work has gone into reconstructing overtop much of the original plan. The differences between the parts that had been redone and the original ruins were clear, with the reconstructed ones giving the palace a greater sense of size and height.

Sections left in various stages of reconstruction

The rebuilt throne room was one of the more interesting rooms at Knossos. I half-expected the Minotaur to break down the barred door and storm in!

The piece below is called the Horns of Consecration, a religious or ceremonial symbol found extensively at Minoan sites. It was likely based on the horns of bulls, as bulls were used elsewhere in Minoan art. Sir Arthur Evans coined the term while working at Knossos and it stuck. The Horns of Consecration are usually represented as a stone slab, with the upper part fashioned into two points.

The Horns of Consecration. It felt like the dark doorway below might be the entrance to the labyrinth…

We did Knossos at the end of our stay in Crete. After enjoying beaches, caves and mountains, a bit of ancient history was a fitting end to the trip. Although we never found the labyrinth, at least we didn’t find the Minotaur either!


An alternative interpretation

Already back in the early twentieth century there were people who doubted that Evans and Schliemann were correct in regarding these “Horns of Consecration” as representing the horns of a bull. An interesting article about the topic is Emilia Banou’s “Minoan horns of consecration revisited: a symbol of sun worship in Palatial and Post-Palatial Crete?”, published in Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 8.1 (2008), pp. 27-47. The article is available on her Academia page and has plenty of references.

Briefly, some scholars believe that the “Horns” don’t actually represent bull’s horns, but rather mountains. They have been compared to the Egyptian hieroglyph for “mountain” (djew), which looks similar, featuring two peaks that are connected in the middle, even though the hieroglyph is broader and lower – but one can see the similarities. For some reason, Banou also includes the Egyptian symbol for “horizon” (adjet or akhet), which consists of a disc (the sun) emerging from between two peaks, but this symbol is never encountered in Minoan art and it appears to have been included solely to strengthen Banou’s argument that the Minoans were sun worshippers. Show Interested readers at this point should check out Judith Weingarten’s useful review of Nanno Marinatos’s controversial/dubious book Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess: A Near Eastern Koine (2010), where a similar point is made.

Still, it’s possible that the “Horns” actually represent mountains. Richard T. Neer, in his Art & Archaeology of the Greek World (2019, second edition), states flatly that they are symbolic representations of mountains. Like Banou and others, he also compares them to the hieroglyphic sign for “mountain”. Furthermore, he suggests that the Minoan symbol resembles the double peak of Mount Ida, Crete’s tallest mountain (2,456 m).

About the “Horns”, Neer writes (p. 31):

Could their placement along rooflines evoke Minoan reverence for mountain peaks? In a related vein, a number of important Minoan buildings contained a basement chamber with a single central pillar. These “pillar crypts” may stand in for sacred caves, the pillar representing a stalactite. If these peculiar features really are artificial versions of sacred places in the natural landscape, then their presence in palaces might attest to the institutionalization and centralization of rural cult activity at the administrative center. Tellingly, the number of active peak sanctuaries declined sharply in the Second Palace Period, as religious activity shifted to settlements and palaces.

We know that the Minoans, like many ancient cultures, had an interest in hills and mountains, and it’s possible that they connected them to some sort of (sky?) deity – Greeks of the historic era, after all, believed that Zeus was born in one of the many mountain caves that can be found in Crete. But I’m starting to speculate – unavoidable when dealing with the topic of Minoan religion and symbolism – and, more importantly, I’m moving beyond the scope of the present article.


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The fact that the Tell es-Safi/Gath horned altar has only two horns may have to do with the cultural origins of the Philistines. As Louise Hitchcock, senior staff member of the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations, has suggested, the very motif of the horned altar in the Levant may have been influenced by earlier Minoan “horns of consecration,” symbolic representations of the horns of the sacred bull in Minoan culture. In fact, there is an altar from the Late Bronze Age site of Myrtous Pigadhes in Cyprus that also has only two horns. The unique horned altar from Tell es-Safi/Gath, the earliest stone altar ever found from the land of the Philistines, may be another indication of the Aegean influences on early Philistine culture and quite possibly a hint to their origins.


On the Trail of the Eternal: The Secrets of the Minoans

Gaia chose Keftiu to shelter Zeus from his angry father Kronos for good reason. The island holds on to its secrets. So, the Earth goddess knew that the last born of Rhea would grow and thrive here. And it came to pass that a magnificent tapestry of humanity would be woven from the island we know as Crete. Recent discoveries may soon reveal the secrets of the Minoans, which will, in turn, illuminate the everlasting.

As I type this story, I am reading from a fascinating paper by Dr. Joseph MacGillivray of the British School at Athens. The former Curator at Knossos’ most recent “Minoan mantras. The quiet decipherment of Linear A” presents an astounding window into the world of the mysterious Minoans. His research begins with an account of the birth of Zeus. Then he recounts famed archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans’ discovery of a fragment of a stone vessel found in the Dikteon Cave, which bore characters of the undeciphered Linear A language of the Minoans. MacGillivray goes on to tell of Evans’ lifelong quest to decipher Linear A, before postulating something amazing. Linear A may have been deciphered already.

An artists conception of the lustral basin in the throne room of Knossos – Mona Eberhardt

The quest to decipher Linear A is something akin to finding the Ark of the Covenant for scholars. This archaic writing system used by the Minoans (Cretans) from 1800 to 1450 BCE., is actually one of four ancient scripts associated with the still puzzling Minoan Civilization. Linear B, which was used by the Mycenaean civilization, was revealed when an unlikely translator, an architect and self-taught linguist named Michael Ventris, broke the code of Linear B before his untimely death in 1956. The other two scripts which are as yet undeciphered are Cypro-Minoan and Cretan hieroglyphic, which are key to Dr. MacGillivray’s report. These latter two, may, in fact, be linked to Pre-Anatolian (4200 BC), but this is a case for another report.

As it turns out, another self-taught language decoder named Hubert La Marle has probably lifted the veil covering Europe’s oldest civilization. You see, the problem scholars have always had with understanding the ancient Minoans, is that their history is muted by the fact we cannot learn from their writing. All archaeologists and historians have to go on are their ruined palaces and temples, and millions of shards of artistic, cultural, and religious relics dug up all over the eastern Mediterranean. The Minoan Civilization is like a massive zigsaw puzzle of humanity’s finest era, missing all four corners and the color Aegean blue that glues it together.

Linear A tablet from the palace of Zakros, Archeological Museum of Sitia – Olaf Tausch

According to Dr. MacGillivray, La Marle painted in Aegean blue the secrets of the Minoans, only to have his discoveries covered by the system that is supposed to unveil such secrets. As MacGillivray suggests in his paper, Hubert La Marle’s notion that Minoan is the earliest form of so-called Indo-Iranian language may be correct. I’ve no space here to show more of his evidence, but within his report, there is something that illuminated the ritual nature of the Minoans for me.

Arthur Evans’ efforts at Knossos have been subjected to a lot of criticism over the years. While the distinguished Evans made his “mark” on Minoan studies, other celebrated scholars took issue with his often overzealous personality infused into these Bronze Age mysteries. One of his ideas, that of Knossos as a palace in the true sense, has been tried many times by experts including the notable MacGillivray.

Evans, it seems, fashioned “his” Knossos from a contemporary European viewpoint, which may be one reason Linear A has remained a mystery. What I mean here is, the “Evans school” of Minoan experts might be quick to minimalize any pretext to Crete origins being other than European-ish. This is framed based by this excerpt from another scholarly paper entitled “The Minoan ‘Palace-Temple’ Reconsidered…”, by Ilse Schoep:

“Evans was among the first to give Europe a prehistoric identity (Papadopoulos 2005: 107) and went to great lengths to emphasize the European character of Cretan Bronze Age society, both through extensive use of Greek mythology (MacGillivray 2001 Momigliano 2006) and through emotive reconstructions of the architecture of the palace (Hitchcock and Koudounaris 2002 Papadopoulos 2005 Gere 2009) and Minoan material culture.”

If we consider that Evans might have been as much a politician and PR man as an archaeologist, then the de-prioritization of La Marle’s Linear A decipherment is better explained. Purists, or the Evans advocates, would not enjoy a Minoan Civilization that is less European. Talk about ethnocentrism getting in the way of science and truth? Regardless of the academic fencing, the logic in MacGillivray’s argument stands out, and here’s why.

Arthur Evans in the Throne Room shortly after its excavation – Art History Resources

The former curator at Knossos tells us of La Marle’s ultimate translation from the Psychro vessel speaks volumes about the purpose of Knossos. The secret unveiled reads:

“I have been ritually purified in olive oil and sacred water for my lady Assara.”

The passage, according to La Marle, repeats like a mantra or a prayer. Like Dr MacGillivray in his paper, I am reminded of the lustral basin at Knossos and how it seems out of place if the throne room is, in fact, a throne. MacGillivray helps us take the next step to the east and India, and then onward to a new search for the origins of the Minoans. Yes, the Minoans built the first European cities, and their scripts were definitely Europe’s earliest texts. But MacGillivray uncovers another shocker with DNA tracings of the original Minoans.

Furthermore, the archaeologist pulls back the curtain on a new supreme god of the Minoans, Itar, who was a lightning god akin to Zeus but clothed in Sanskrit and alluding to the god Azura of Indian mythology. Talk about upsetting the Europeans and Aryans out there, what if Zoroaster, for instance, is interjected into the equation? Yes, I think we may soon understand what the Nazis were looking for at remote Monastiraki during World War II.

The secrets of the Minoans may connect with the so-called Aryan Race

When I studied the Minoan Civilization at the College of Charleston, my professor prompted a three day and night long library dig for my thesis. Chastising me for tossing in a mediocre paper on the horns of consecration, his scolding made me live and sleep in the library until I found it, an obscure mention of the horns from Persia. I got published for it, and never forgot the “eastern” connection to Minoan spirituality.

That said, La Marle and Dr. Macgillivray both point toward the east of Crete and beyond as the direction to look for the secrets of the Minoans. Zakros is targeted, as well as Paleakastro. The scholars take aim at the Zagros mountains in distant Iran, for further clues into who these Minoans were – which may, in turn, tell us about the rest of us.

Apocrypha, such as the letter of Sultan Mehmed II to the Pope, may hold keys to the meaning and ultimate importance of Linear A and other Minoan mysteries – Public Domain

This stunning revelation goes to the heart of questions humanity has wrestled with for generations. In MacGillivray’s paper, I find the shadowy footprint of western esotericism and further clues in the search for the eternal. As I originally thought, Crete island rises above a sea of unknowing, like the “Wine Dark Sea” of the Odyssey.

What I could never have suspected, was the secrets of the Minoans buried beneath obfuscating ideals. Next time I’ll discuss esoteric knowledge considered too profound or too sacred to be disclosed even in our most trusted scriptures.

Feature image: Wikipedia and The Juvenile Instructor of the Church of Mormon Church

About Phil Butler

Phil is a prolific technology, travel, and news journalist and editor. A former public relations executive, he is an analyst and contributor to key hospitality and travel media, as well as a geopolitical expert for more than a dozen international media outlets.


Excavating Minoan Ritual and Myth to Discover a Sustainable Future

The shift away from nature began when ancient society finally departed from the refined feminine dominated civilizations. The final patriarchal dominance represented by the Roman Empire finally supplanted goddess led worship systems like that practiced by the Minoans. Recent scientific studies, and metaphysics should be converging to provide a much clearer picture of the Minoan Civilization, as well as a brighter path to sustainable futures. It’s time we examined the real possibility of a return to Eden.

The imminent archaeologist Dr. Jan Driessen deals expertly with the role of ritual in a supposed Utopia (my term) in his paper “Crisis Cults on Minoan Crete”. Dr. Driessen points out that the Minoans clearly worshipped the “Great Goddess” and that the society sought to invoke the deity’s presence through ritual. The archaeologist cites Peter Warren’s seminal 1986 study on Minoan Religion as Ritual Action, which deals with dance, baetylic, robe, flower and sacrifice rituals, which were apparently performed to summon the goddess (or god – see Marinatos). Driessen writes:

“Warren did, in my opinion, not sufficiently stress the ecstatic and shamanistic experiences involved in these ritual actions…”

Jan Driessen in 1983 with his first discovery, two parts of stone horns of consecration which fit together – Courtesy the archaeologist

Driessen’s paper also reflects on the probability that Diktaion Zeus finally dominated the Minoan mother goddess (Potnia) sometime after a cataclysm, perhaps via some LM IB crisis cult. Maybe this was, in fact, the catalyst for the world to become the chaotic patriarchal system wrestling with itself today. There is plenty of evidence to suggest this is exactly what happened. And although scientists like Driessen work exclusively with fact, ideas and theories come from the mind, not the body.

The loss of animistic traditions when patriarchal and colonizing cultures supplanted early Minoan goddess worship led to Dionysus cults in late-stage Hellenic Greece, and finally the more destructive excesses of Rome. Dionysus cults practiced altered states, ritual madness, and death-and-rebirth through ecstatic revelry. Perhaps Driessen’s crisis cults did in the peaceful Minoans as well.


Titian | Bacchus and Ariadne – The National Gallery, London

Interestingly, the environmental advocate and Psychedelic Feminism activist Zoe Helene says that all places, objects, elements, and all living beings had a spiritual essence. She also says that early Minoan and Mycenaean religions were distinctly feminist and shamanistic, which is just what Dr. Driessen theorizes. I mention Helene and the respected archaeologist in the same paragraph because the balance of science and magic (ritual) seems the logical place to find a path long lost to humankind. Helene’s expertise in sacred psychedelic medicines and her knowledge of sacred plants is meaningful, especially in the context of Minoan healing practice, cult practices, and myths and legends.

A fascinating study from 2014 re-examines evidence for Minoan cultic practices in light of key tropes of “universal shamanism”. Minoan ritual practices, according to many sources, included the “consumption of psychoactive drugs, the adoption of special body postures, trance, spirit possession, communication with supernatural beings, metamorphosis, and the journey to other-worlds”.

It is my belief that the intrigues of modern shamanism, as well as feminist theory experts like Zoe Helene, blend well with the sciences employed by learned experts like Driessen and others in traditional archaeological or even anthropology fields. It seems fair to insist that there should be useful research projects that intertwine the disciplines.


The Hagia Triada sarcophagus revealing a funeral cult – Photo by Jebulon

Back in 2004, Alan A.D. Peatfield and Christine Morris expounded on a theory (PDF) that “the Minoans used body postures to trigger visionary states”. However, their work relied on ethnographic comparative data. But in 2005 Dr. Erin McGowan, of the University of Oxford, performed experimental techniques to test whether Minoan ritual gestures could induce altered states of consciousness (McGowan 2006). The experiment was conducted within a darkened room approximating a cave-like environment in conjunction with sonic driving through shaking a sistrum. Each of the adopted gestures resulted in participants experiencing altered states of consciousness of varying visual and aural complexity. (Tully & Crooks 2015).

Performers at Crete’s Minoan Theater recreate a ritual dance for the audience

What is known of the ancient Minoans has been constructed from archaeological finds of Palaces, villas, Thalos tombs, and countless bits and pieces of Bronze Age life. The symbolism denoted from seals, votive offerings, frescoes, and even their architecture are the only physical clues we have about what Minoan ritual and their everyday life was really like.

Dr. McGowan’s work sought to enhance this knowledge via, for lack of a better term, recreated animism ritual. In other words, she sought to make a quantum leap by using the gestures of stereotypical figurines and epiphanic postural images, and the postures and movements apparent in those objects. The results proved, at the very least, that such shamanistic practices in a Minoan context would certainly have had powerful effects.

Clay dancers from Palaikastro, Sitia, Minoan Crete, Tancerki z Palaicastro, Sitia

Jan Driessen was correct in his assessment that not enough emphasis has been put on Minoan shamanistic practices. We must be careful, however, to not confuse the universal idea of shamanism with the techniques referred to when experts speak of Minoan shamanistic practices. Shamanism, where applied to the Minoans or other unique societies, must be viewed as a part of the greater whole of the culture and tradition of the people, instead of a generic term for religion. (Tully & Crooks) Again, this plays into what Dr. Driessen suggests, that cult practices brought about by crisis created unique Minoan shamanistic practices such as out of body experiences, etc. The short version here being, the priestesses of Knossos practiced ritual to satisfy acute needs. The goddess or later on Zeus were summoned to deal with new kinds of problems.

Finally, the efforts of learned and fascinating people like linguist and anthropologist Dr. Felicitas Goodman should be mention here too. Her research into altered states of consciousness predated the more recent work into ritual postures and techniques I mentioned. The work of the imminent pre-historian Andrew Collins and “Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods” should also not be overlooked. For those unfamiliar, Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, which is considered the world’s first temple, reveals ritual as described by Driessen and the others, that was performed in an organized manner more than 11,000 years ago. The “temple” is situated in what was a garden paradise, accordion to the current excavator Klaus Schmidt.

Finally, my inquiry to this point has brought to the forefront a crisis in thought over how the Minoans accomplished such long-lasting peace. J.D.S. Pendlebury suggested the Minoans maintained a Thalassocracy, a view accepted by most but more recently challenged on account of missing specialized warships, etc. in Minoan art. (The Myth of the Minoan Thalassocracy Chester G. Starr)

Signet ring with a scene of tree worship dated 1600 – 1500 BC

In the aforementioned paper, Starr seems to think Pendlebury was promoting the idea of the Minoans being conquerors, which is certainly not the case. Starr, and almost all the other researchers in this vein, seem brain locked into pragmatic thought. It’s as if theory had never occurred to some theorists. What if the kind of Thalassocracy Pendlebury supposed, did not need warships armed to the teeth? What if some other force protected Minoan ships, and the main island as well? And furthermore, what if that “force” somehow abandoned the people? Even though there are not ceramics or frescoes decorated with the Minoan versions of Spanish ships of war, there are examples of Minoan vessels armed with goddesses.

Yes, I know, now I delve into the supernatural. But if we can assume these people had a lasting peace for over a thousand years, something we have never managed in the written history of man, then can’t we assume another variable? What if Minoan ritual had a much more far-reaching effect than anyone ever supposed? Haven’t the most famous and learned archaeologists been romantics?

“Although an archaeologist, and an Old Wykehamist of conventional background, John Pendlebury was a vigorous romantic.” – Antony Beevor, historian of the Battle of Crete

Lest we forget too, Hatshepsut, Theodora of Byzantium, Amalasuntha, Isabella, Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, and those unknown names before history it seems completely fair to say civilization got something very wrong for total peace to have not have been achieved by now. I think the mold was broken when the cataclysmic Thera eruption convinced the Minoans God had abandoned them.

After this event, 1,500 years of peace and proven prosperity came to an end. This was over 3,500 years ago. We owe it to science, to history, and to humanity, to overturn every rock to discover how these people managed their seeming Utopia.

About Phil Butler

Phil is a prolific technology, travel, and news journalist and editor. A former public relations executive, he is an analyst and contributor to key hospitality and travel media, as well as a geopolitical expert for more than a dozen international media outlets.


Lesson 15: Bibliography

S. A. Alcock and R. Osborne (eds.), Placing the Gods: Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece (Oxford 1994) .

F. Blakolmer (ed.), Österreichische Forschungen zur ägäischen Bronzezeit 1998 (Vienna 2000).

Centre Gustave Glotz, Aux origines de l'hellénisme: Hommage à Henri van Effenterre (Paris 1984).

A. Chaniotis (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders: Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete (Stuttgart 1999).

A. Chapin (ed.), CHARIS : Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr [Hesperia Supplement 33] (Princeton 2004).

A. Cohen and J. B. Rutter, Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy [Hesperia Supplement 41] (Princeton 2007).

A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009).

L. P. Day, M. S. Mook, and J. D. Muhly (eds.), Crete Beyond the Palaces: Proceedings of the Crete 2000 Conference (Philadelphia 2004).

L. Goodison and C. Morris (eds.), Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence (London 1998).

R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), Sanctuaries and Cults in the Aegean Bronze Age (Stockholm 1981).

R. Hägg, N. Marinatos, and G. Nordquist (eds.), Early Greek Cult Practice (Göteborg 1988).

L. A. Hitchcock, R. Laffineur, and J. Crowley (eds.), DAIS: The Aegean Feast [Aegaeum 29] (Liège/Austin 2008).

V. Karageorghis, H. Matthäus, and S. Rogge (eds.), Cyprus: Religion and Society from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Archaic Period (Bibliopolis 2005).

K. Kopaka (ed.), FYLO. Engendering Prehistoric ‘Stratigraphies’ in the Aegean and the Mediterranean [Aegaeum 30] (Liège/Austin 2009).

O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010).

R. Laffineur (ed.), THANATOS: Les coutûmes funéraires en Égée à l'âge du Bronze [Aegaeum 1] (Liège 1987).

R. Laffineur (ed.), Transition. Le monde égéen du Bronze moyen au Bronze récent [Aegaeum 3] (Liège 1989).

R. Laffineur and L. Basch (eds.), THALASSA: L'Égée préhistorique et la mer [Aegaeum 7] (Liège 1991).

R. Laffineur and J. L. Crowley (eds.), EIKON: Aegean Bronze Age Iconography: Shaping a Methodology [Aegaeum 8] (Liège 1992).

R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001).

F. Lang, C. Reinholdt, and J. Weilhartner (eds.), STEPHANOS ARISTEIOS: Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros: Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag (Vienna 2007).

V. La Rosa, D. Palermo, and L. Vagnetti (eds.), EPI PONTON PLAZOMENOI: Simposio italiano di Studi Egei dedicato a Luigi Bernabò Brea e Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli (Rome 1999).

P. Rehak (ed.), The Role of the Ruler in the Prehistoric Aegean [Aegaeum 11] (Liège/Austin1995).

A. Vlachopoulos and K. Birtacha (eds.), ARGONAUTIS: Timetikos tomos yia ton Kathegete Christo G. Douma apo tous mathetes tou sto Panepistimio Athenon (1980-2000) (Athens 2003).

M. Wedde (ed.), Celebrations: Sanctuaries and the Vestiges of Cult Acitvity [Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 6] (Bergen 2004).

Antichità Cretesi. Studi in onore di Doro Levi I-II (Catania 1973,1974).

EILAPINE. Tomos timetikos gia ton kathegete Nikolao Platona (Heraklion 1987).

Minoan Cult: General

E. Adams, “Power and Ritual in Neopalatial Crete,” World Archaeology 36(2004) 26-42.

M. Andreadaki-Vlasaki, “Cultes et divinités dans la ville minoennne de la Canée. Quleques réflaxions,” in I. Bradfer, B. Detournay, and R. Laffineur (eds.), KRES TECHNITES: L’artisan crétois: Recueil d’articles en l’honneur de Jean-Claude Poursat, publié à l’occasion des 40 ans de la découverte du Quartier Mu [Aegaeum 26] (Liège/Austin 2005) 17-27.

L. Banti, "I culti minoici e greci di Haghia Triada (Creta)," Annuario 3-5(1941-43) 9-74.

P. P. Betancourt, "Discontinuity in the Minoan-Mycenaean Religions: Smooth Development or Disruptions and War?," in R. Laffineur (ed.), POLEMOS. Le contexte guerrier en Égée à l'Âge du Bronze [Aegaeum 19] (Liège/Austin 1999) 219-225.

F. Carinci and A. L. D'Agata, "L'attività cultuale a Creta nel III e nel II millennio a.C.," in Anathema. Regime delle offerte e vita nei santuari nel Mediterraneo antico [Scienze dell'Antichità 3-4] (1989-90) 221-242.

A. L. D’Agata, “Religion, Society and Ethnicity on Crete at the End of the Late Bronze Age. The Contextual Framework of LM IIIC Cult Activities,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 345-354.

A. L. D’Agata, “Cult Activity on Crete and Cyprus at the End of the Late Bronze Age and the Beginning of the Early Iron Age. What Comparative Analysis Can Tell Us,” in V. Karageorghis, H. Matthäus, and S. Rogge (eds.), Cyprus: Religion and Society from the Late Bronze Age to the End of the Archaic Period (Bibliopolis 2005) 1-17.

A. L. D’Agata, “Introduction: How Many Archaeologies of Cult?,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 1-8.

J. Dempsey, Calendar House: Secrets of Time, Life and Power in Ancient Crete’s Great Year (2008). [available in pdf form from author at [email protected]]

O. T. P. K. Dickinson, "Comments on a Popular Model of Minoan Religion," OJA 13(1994) 173-184.

B. C. Dietrich, "Uniformity and Change in Minoan and Mycenaean Religion," Kernos 6(1993) 113-122.

B. C. Dietrich, "Death and Afterlife in Minoan Religion," Kernos 10(1997) 19-38.

J. Driessen, “Crisis Cults on Minoan Crete?,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 361-369.

P. Faure, "Cultes populaires dans la Crète antique," BCH 96(1972) 389-426.

G. C. Gesell, Town, Palace, and House Cult in Minoan Crete (Göteborg 1985).

G. C. Gesell, "The Minoan Palace and Public Cult," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 123-128.

G. C. Gesell, “From Knossos to Kavousi: The Popularizing of the Minoan Palace Goddess,” in A. Chapin (ed.), CHARIS : Essays in Honor of Sara A. Immerwahr [Hesperia Supplement 33] (Princeton 2004) 131-150.

L. Goodison, Death, Women and the Sun: Symbolism of Regeneration in Aegean Religion (London 1989).

L. Goodison and C. Morris, "Beyond the 'Great Mother': The Sacred World of the Minoans," in L. Goodison and C. Morris (eds.), Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence (London 1998) 113-133.

E. Hallager, “A Waste Deposit from a LBA-Shrine in Khania (?),” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 175-180.

C. F. Herberger, The Thread of Ariadne: The Labyrinth of the Calendar of Minos (New York 1972).

C. F. Herberger, The Riddle of the Sphinx: Calendric Symbolism in Myth and Icon (New York 1979).

V.-P. Herva, “Flower Lovers, After All? Rethinking Religion and Human-Environment Relations in Minoan Crete,” World Archaeology 38(2006) 586-598.

J. T. Hooker, "Minoan Religion in the Late Palace Period," in O. Krzyszkowska and L. Nixon (eds.), Minoan Society (Bristol 1983) 137-142.

A. Kanta and A. Tzigounaki, “The Character of the Minoan Goddess. New Evidence from the Area of Amari,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 151-157.

K. Kopaka, “A Day in Potnia’s Life: Aspects of Potnia and Reflected ‘Mistress’ Activities in the Aegean Bronze Age,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 15-27.

E. Kyriakidis, “The Economics of Potnia: Storage in ‘Temples’ of Prehistoric Greece,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 123-129.

E. Kyriakidis, Ritual and its Establishment: The Case of Some Minoan Open Air Rituals (Ph.D. dissertation, Cambridge University 2002).

V. La Rosa, “La ricerca delle prove. Il contributo di Luisa Banti agli studi sulla religione minoica e micenea,” PdP 53(1998) 442-462.

N. Marinatos, Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol (Columbia 1993).

N. Marinatos, Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess. A Near Eastern Koine (Chicago 2010).

C. Morris and A. D. Peatfield, “Feeling thrugh the Body: Gesture in Cretan Bronze Age Religion,” in Y. Hamilakis, M. Pluciennik, and S. Tarlow (eds.), Thinking through the Body: Archaeologies of Corporeality (New York 2002) 105-120.

C. Morris and A. Peatfield, “Experiencing Ritual: Shamanic Elements in Minoan Religion,” in M. Wedde (ed.), Celebrations: Sanctuaries and the Vestiges of Cult Activity [Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 6] (Bergen 2004) 35-59.

M. L. Moss, The Minoan Pantheon: Towards an Understanding of its Nature and Extent [BAR-IS 1343] (Oxford 2005).

J. M. A. Murphy, Changing Roles and Locations of Religious Practices in South Central Crete During the Pre-Palatial and Proto-Palatial Periods (Ph.D. thesis, University of Cincinnati 2003).

M. Nikolaïdou and D. Kokkinidou, The Archaeology and Social Identity of Gender: Approaches in Aegean Prehistory (Thessaloniki 1993) <in Greek>.

M. P. Nilsson, The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and its Survival in Greek Religion [2nd edition] (Lund 1950).

O. Pelon, “Aspects de la vie religieuse minoenne à la lumière des recherches récentes au palais de Malia (Crète),” CRAI (1980) 658-670.

A. W. Persson, The Religion of Greece in Prehistoric Times (Berkeley 1942).

W. Pötscher, Aspekte und Probleme der minoischen Religion: Ein Versuch [Religionswissenschaftliche Texte und Studien 4] (Hildesheim 1990).

M. Prent, Cretan Sanctuaries and Cults: Continuity and Change from Late Minoan IIIC to the Archaic Period (Leiden/Boston 2005).

C. Renfrew, The Archaeology of Cult. The Sanctuary at Phylakopi (London 1985).

I. M. Ruud, Minoan Religion: A Bibliography [SIMA Pocket-book 141] (Jonsered 1996).

M. C. Shaw, “Religion at Minoan Kommos,” in L. P. Day, M. S. Mook, and J. D. Muhly (eds.), Crete Beyond the Palaces: Proceedings of the Crete 2000 Conference (Philadelphia 2004) 137-150.

P. M. Warren, "The Beginnings of Minoan Religion," in Antichità Cretesi. Studi in onore di Doro Levi I (Catania 1973) 137-147.

P. Warren, "Minoan Crete and Ecstatic Religion," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), Sanctuaries and Cults in the Aegean Bronze Age (Stockholm 1981) 155-167.

P. M. Warren, "The Minoans and their Gods," in B. Cunliffe (ed.), Origins (London 1987) 30-41.

P. M. Warren, Minoan Religion as Ritual Action (Göteborg 1988).

P. M. Warren, “Hlusion Minvikon,” in F. Lang, C. Reinholdt, and J. Weilhartner (eds.), STEPHANOS ARISTEIOS: Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros: Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag (Vienna 2007) 261-270.

R. F. Willetts, Cretan Cults and Festivals (London 1962).

J. C. Wright, "The Archaeological Correlates of Religion: Case Studies in the Aegean," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin1995) II: 341-348.

E. Yiannouli, "Fecundity and the Sacred: Some Preliminary Thoughts Regarding Bronze Age Greece," JPR 11-12(1998) 65-84.

J. G. Younger and P. Rehak, “Minoan Culture: Religion, Burial Customs, and Administration,” in C. W. Shelmerdine (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge 2008) 105-120.

Religious Architecture

S. Alexiou, "Ieron para to Kavousi Ierapetras," Kretika Chronika 10(1965) 7-19.

P. P. Betancourt, “The Household Shrine in the House of the Rhyta at Pseira,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 145-149.

P. P. Betancourt and N. Marinatos, "The Minoan Villa. Part II: Some Special Cases of Urban and Manorial Cults," in R. Hägg (ed.), The Function of the 'Minoan Villa' (Stockholm 1997) 92-98.

I. Beyer, Der minoisch-mykenische Palasttempel und seine Wirkung auf den dorischen Tempel (Freiburg 1981).

I. Beyer, "Der Palasttempel von Phaistos," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 213-225.

K. Branigan, "Open-Air Shrines in Pre-Palatial Crete," in LOIBE: Eis mnemen Andrea G. Kalokairinou (Heraklion 1994) 279-290.

G. Cadogan, "A Probable Shrine in the Country House at Pyrgos," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), Sanctuaries and Cults in the Aegean Bronze Age (Stockholm 1981) 169-171.

N. Cucuzza, “Religion and Architecture: Early LM IIIA2 Buildings in the Southern Area of Haghia Triada,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 169-174.

A. L. D'Agata, "Un vano di culto TM III nell-abitato di Haghia Triada (Creta)," Sileno 13(1987) 135-145.

A. L. D'Agata, "I santuari sul Piazzale dei Sacelli ad Haghia Triada (Creta)," Athenaeum 81(1993) 5-12.

C. Davaras, "The 'Cult Villa' at Makriyialos," in R. Hägg (ed.), The Function of the 'Minoan Villa' (Stockholm 1997) 117-135.

L. P. Day, “Ritual Activity at Karphi: A Reappraisal,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 137-151.

T. Eliopoulos, “Gournia, Vronda Kavousi, Kephala Vasilikis: A Triad of Interrelated Shrines of the Expiring Minoan Age on the Isthmus of Ierapetra,” in L. P. Day, M. S. Mook, and J. D. Muhly (eds.), Crete Beyond the Palaces: Proceedings of the Crete 2000 Conference (Philadelphia 2004) 81-90.

G. C. Gesell, Town, Palace, and House Cult in Minoan Crete (Göteborg 1985).

G. C. Gesell, "The Minoan Palace and Public Cult," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 123-128.

R. Hägg, "On the Reconstruction of the West Facade of the Palace at Knossos," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 129-134.

B. Hallager, “Domestic Shrines in Late Minoan IIIA2-Late Minoan IIIC Crete: Fact or Fiction?,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 107-120.

M. S. F. Hood, "Minoan Town-shrines?," in K. H. Kinzl (ed.), Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean in Ancient History and Prehistory (Berlin/New York 1977) 158-172.

S. Hood, "The Magico-Religious Background of the Minoan 'Villa'," in R. Hägg (ed.), The Function of the 'Minoan Villa' (Stockholm 1997) 105-116.

N. L. Klein, “The Architecture of the Late Minoan IIIC Shrine (Building G) at Vronda, Kavousi,” in L. P. Day, M. S. Mook, and J. D. Muhly (eds.), Crete Beyond the Palaces: Proceedings of the Crete 2000 Conference (Philadelphia 2004) 91-101.

N. L. Klein and K. T. Glowacki, “From Kavousi Vronda to Dreros: Architecture and Display in Cretan Cult Buildings,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 153-167.

W-D. Niemeier, "Zur Deutung des Thronraumes im Palast von Knossos," AM 101(1986) 63-95.

M. Panagiotaki, "The Temple Repositories at Knossos: New Information from the Unpublished Notes of Sir Arthur Evans," BSA 88(1993) 49-91.

M. Panagiotaki, The Central Palace Sanctuary at Knossos [BSA Supplementary Volume 31] (London 1999).

A. Pilali-Papasteriou, "Anaktorika iera tes minoïkes Kretes," AMETOS. Timetikos tomos gia ton kathegeten Manole Androniko (Thessaloniki1987) II: 665-680.

N. Platon, "To hieron Maza kai ta minoïka hiera koryphes," Kretika Chronika 5(1951) 96-160.

N. Platon, "Ta minoïka oikiaka hiera," Kretika Chronika 8(1954) 428-483.

M. R. Popham, "A Late Minoan Shrine from Knossos," BSA 65(1970) 191-194.

W. H. D. Rouse, "The Double Axe and the Labyrinth," JHS 21(1901) 268-274.

B. Rutkowski, Cult Places in the Aegean World (Warsaw 1972).

B. Rutkowski, The Cult Places of the Aegean (New Haven 1986).

B. Rutkowski, "Minoan Sanctuaries: The Topography and Architecture," in R. Laffineur (ed.), Annales d'archéologie égéenne de l'Université de Liège 2 [Aegaeum 2] (Liège 1988) 71-98.

B. Rutkowski, "Minoan Sanctuaries at Christos and Koumasa, Crete: New Field Research," Archäologisches Korrespondenzblatt 19(1989) 47-51.

P. Russell, "The Date of the Gournia Shrine," TUAS 4(1979) 27-33.

Y. Sakellarakis and E. Sapouna-Sakellarakis, "Drama of Death in a Minoan Temple," National Geographic 159:2(1981) 205-222.

J. W. Shaw, "Evidence for the Minoan Tripartite Shrine," AJA 82(1978) 429-448.

T. E. Strasser, "Horns of Consecration or Rooftop Granaries? Another Look at the Master Impression," in R. Laffineur and P. P. Betancourt (eds.), TEXNH: Craftsmen, Craftswomen and Craftsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 16] (Liège/Austin 1997) 201-207.

M. Tsipopoulou, “A New Late Minoan IIIC Shrine at Halasmenos, East Crete,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 99-101.

M. Tsipopoulou, “Goddesses for ‘Gene’? The Late Minoan IIIC Shrine at Halasmenos, Ierapetra,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 121-136.

H. Waterhouse, "The Flat Alabastron and the Last Ritual in the Throne Room," OJA 7(1988) 361-367.

Minoan Altars

Th. Eliopoulos, “O Ysterominoïkos IIIC ‘omphaloeis’ bomos tes Kephalas Vasilikes,” in A. Vlachopoulos and K. Birtacha (eds.), ARGONAUTIS: Timetikos tomos yia ton Kathegete Christo G. Douma apo tous mathetes tou sto Panepistimio Athenon (1980-2000) (Athens 2003) 389-408.

S. Hood, "A Horned Altar at Knossos," in EILAPINE. Tomos timetikos yia ton kathegete Nikolao Platona (Heraklion 1987) 355-358.

V. La Rosa, “Preghiere fatte in casa? Altari mobili da un edificio di H. Triada,” in Pepragmena tou H’ Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Heraklion 2000) A2: 137-153.

O. Pelon, "L'autel minoen sur le site de Malia," Annales d'archéologie égéenne de l'Université de Liège 2 [Aegaeum 2] (1988) 31-46.

M. C. Shaw, "The Lion Gate Relief at Mycenae Reconsidered," in Philia Epe eis Georgion E. Mylonas (Athens 1986) 108-123.

Extramural Cult Locales: Cave and Peak Sanctuaries

E. Banou, “Ta lithina antikeimena apo to minoïko iero koryphes ston A. Giorge sto Vouno Kytheron,” Pepragmena tou H Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Heraklion 2000) 383-394.

E. Banou, “Ta Kythera anamesa ste minoïke Krete kai te mykenaïke Peloponneso: Ta mikroantikeimena apo to minoïko ieor koryphes ston A. Giorge sto Vouno,” Praktika tou A Diethnous Synedriou Kytheraïkon Meleton (Kythera 2003) 69-75.

E. Banou, “Minoïka iera koryphes: e periptose tou Agiou Georgiou sto Vouno Kytheron,” in EPATHLON: Archaiologikon Synedrion pros Timen tou Adonidos K. Kyrou (Athens 2007) A’: 285-294.

M. Benzi, “Daskalio (Vathy), Kalymnos: A Late Bronze I Sacred Cave in the East Aegean,” in W. Gauss, M. Lindblom, R. A. K. Smith, and J. C. Wright (eds.), Our Cups Are Full: Pottery and Society in the Aegean Bronze Age (Oxford 2011) 13-24.

C. Briault, “Making Mountains Out of Molehills in the Bronze Age Aegean: Visibility, Ritual Kits, and the Idea of a Peak Sanctuary,” World Archaeology 39(2007) 122-141.

S. Chryssoulaki, “The Traostalos Peak Sanctuary: Aspects of Spatial Organization,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 57-66.

C. Davaras, “Three New Linear A Libation Vessel Fragments from Petsophas,” Kadmos 20(1981) 1-6.

C. Davaras, “One Minoan Peak Sanctuary Less: The Case of Thylakas,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 71-88.

R. M. Dawkins and M. L. W. Laistner, "The Excavation of the Kamares Cave in Crete," BSA 19(1912-13) 1-34.

P. Faure, "Cultes de sommets et cultes de cavernes en Crète," BCH 87(1963) 493-508.

P. Faure, Fonctions des cavernes crétoises (Paris 1964).

P. Faure, "Recherches sur le peuplement du montagne en Crète. Sites, cavernes et cultes," BCH 89(1965) 27-63.

P. Faure, "Nouvelles recherches sur trois sortes de sanctuaires crétois," BCH 91(1967) 114-150.

P. Faure, "Sur trois sortes de sanctuaries crétois," BCH 93(1969) 174-213.

P. Faure, "Cavernes sacrées de la Crète antique," Cretan Studies 4(1994) 77-83.

N. Fernandez, "Les lieux de culte de l'âge du Bronze en Crète: question de méthode," RA (1985) 257-268.

D. C. Haggis, "Staple Finance, Peak Sanctuaries, and Economic Complexity in Late Prepalatial Crete," in A. Chaniotis (ed.), From Minoan Farmers to Roman Traders: Sidelights on the Economy of Ancient Crete (Stuttgart 1999) 53-86.

J. Hazzidakis, "An Early Minoan Sacred Cave at Arkalochori in Crete," BSA 19(1912-13) 35-47.

G. Henriksson and M. Blomberg, "Evidence for Minoan Astronomical Observations from the Peak Sanctuaries on Petsophas and Traostalos," Opuscula Atheniensia 21(1996) 99-114.

D. G. Hogarth, "The Dictaean Cave," BSA 6(1899-1900) 94-116.

D. W. Jones, Peak Sanctuaries and Sacred Caves in Minoan Crete: A Comparison of Artifacts [SIMA Pocket-book 156] (Jonsered 1999).

A. Kanta, "To spelaio tou Lilianou," Kretika Chronika 23(1971) 425-439.

A. Karetsou, “To iero korifes tou Iouchta,” PAE (1978) 232-258.

A. Karetsou, "The Peak Sanctuary of Mt. Iuktas," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), Sanctuaries and Cults in the Aegean Bronze Age (Stockholm 1981) 137-153.

A. Karetsou, L. Godart, and J-P. Olivier, "Inscriptions en linéaire A du sanctuaire de sommet du mont Iouktas," Kadmos 24(1985) 89-147.

E. Kyriakidis, Ritual in the Bronze Age Aegean: The Minoan Peak Sanctuaries (London 2005).

S. Marinatos, "Zur Frage der Grotte von Arkalochori," Kadmos 1(1962) 87-94.

J. Moody, "Environmental Change and Minoan Sacred Landscapes," in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 241-249.

L. Nixon, "Investigating Minoan Sacred Landscapes," in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 269-275.

K. Nowicki, "Some Remarks on the Pre- and Protopalatial Peak Sanctuaries in Crete," in B. Rutkowski (ed.), Aegean Archaeology 2(1994) 31-48.

K. Nowicki, “Minoan Peak Sanctuaries: Reassessing Their Origins,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 31-37.

A. D. Peatfield, "The Topography of Minoan Peak Sanctuaries," BSA 78(1983) 273-280.

A. D. Peatfield, "Palace and Peak: The Political and Religious Relationship between Palaces and Peak Sanctuaries," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 89-93.

A. D. Peatfield, The Peak Sanctuaries of Minoan Crete (Ph.D. dissertation University of London 1989).

A. D. Peatfield, "Minoan Peak Sanctuaries: History and Society," Opuscula Atheniensia 17(1990) 117-131.

A. D. Peatfield, "Rural Ritual in Bronze Age Crete: The Peak Sanctuary at Atsipadhes," CAJ 2(1992) 59-87.

A. Peatfield, "The Atsipadhes Korakias Peak Sanctuary Project," Classics Ireland 1(1994) 90-95.

A. D. Peatfield, “After the ‘Big Bang’ – What? Or, Minoan Symbols and Shrines beyond Palatial Collapse,” in S. A. Alcock and R. Osborne (eds.), Placing the Gods: Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece (Oxford 1994) 19-36.

A. Peatfield, “Divinity and Performance on Minoan Peak Sanctuaries,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 51-55.

A. Peatfield, “The Topography of Minoan Peak Sanctuaries Revisited,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 251-259.

N. Platon, “To ieron Maza kai ta minoïka iera koryphes,” Kretika Chronika 5(1951) 96-160.

B. Rutkowski, Cult Places in the Aegean World (Warsaw 1972).

B. Rutkowski, The Cult Places of the Aegean (New Haven 1986).

B. Rutkowski, "Minoan Peak Sanctuaries: Topography and Architecture," Annales d'archéologie égéenne de l'Université de Liège 2 [Aegaeum 2] (Liège 1988) 71-98.

B. Rutkowski, Petsophas. A Cretan Peak Sanctuary (Warsaw 1991).

B. Rutkowski, "Minoan Caves: The Main Cult Area," in B. Rutkowski (ed.), Aegean Archaeology 1 (1994) 26-30.

B. Rutkowski and K. Nowicki, The Psychro Cave and Other Sacred Grottoes in Crete (Warsaw 1996).

J. A. Sakellarakis, "To minoïko iero ton Kytheron," in LOIBE: Eis Mnemen Andrea G. Kalokairinou (Heraklion 1994) 195-203.

Y. Sakellarakis, "Minoan Religious Influence in the Aegean. The Case of Kythera," BSA 91(1996) 81-99.

N. Schlager, "Korakomouri: Ein neues MM Höhenheiligtum in Sphaka, Gem. Zakros, und die MM Höhen- und Feldheiligtümer von Ostsitia," Österreichisches Jahresheft 64(1995) 1-24.

S. Soetens, "Juktas and Kophinas: Two Ritual Landscapes Out of the Ordinary,“ in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 261-268.

S. Soetens, J. Driessen, A. Sarris, and S. Topouzi, “The Minoan Peak Sanctuary Landscape through a GIS Approach,“ Archeologia e Calcolatori 13(2002) 161-170.

S. Soetens, A. Sarris, K. Vansteenhuyse, and S. Topouzi, “GIS Variations on a Cretan Theme: Minoan Peak Sanctuaries,“ in K. P. Foster and R. Laffineur (eds.), METRON: Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 24] (Liège/Austin 2003) 483-488.

S. Soetens, A. Sarris, and S. Topouzi, “Peak Sanctuaries in the Minoan Cultural Landscape,“ Pepragmena tou Q Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Heraklion 2006) 76-82.

V. Stürmer, “'Naturkulträume' auf Kreta und Thera: Ausstattung, Definition und Funktion,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 69-75.

I. Tournavitou, "Minoïko iero koryphes sta Kythera: e kerameike," Pepragmena tou H Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Heraklion 2000) 297-316.

I. Tournavitou, “Does Size Matter? Miniature Pottery Vessels in Minoan Peak Sanctuaries,“ in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 213-230.

E. L. Tyree, Cretan Sacred Caves: Archaeological Evidence (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Missouri at Columbia 1974).

E. L. Tyree, “Diachronic Changes in Minoan Cave Cult,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 39-50.

L. Tyree, A. Kanta, and D. Sphakianakis, “The Neopalatial Chalice: Forms and Function in the Cave of Skoteino,” in P. P. Betancourt, M. C. Nelson, and H. Williams (eds.), Krinoi kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw (Philadelphia 2007) 277-283.

L. Tyree, A. Kanta, and H. L. Robinson, “Evidence for Ritual Eating and Drinking: A View from Skoteino Cave,” in L. A. Hitchcock, R. Laffineur, and J. Crowley (eds.), DAIS: The Aegean Feast [Aegaeum 29] (Liège/Austin 2008) 179-185.

L. Tyree, F. W. McCoy, A. Kanta, D. Sphakianiakis, A. Stamos, K. Aretaki, and E. Kamilaki, “Inferences for Use of Skotino Cave during the Bronze Age and Later Based on a Speleological and Environmental Study at Skotino Cave, Crete,” Aegean Archaeology 8(2005-2006) [2009] 51-63.

I. Tzachili, “Quantitative Analysis of the Pottery from the Peak Sanctuary at Vrysinas, Rethymnon,” in K. P. Foster and R. Laffineur (eds.), METRON: Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 24] (Liège/Austin 2003) 327-331.

A. Vasilakis, "Minoïke keramike apo to Idaion Antron," Pepragmena tou ST' Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Chania 1990) A1: 125-130.

L. V. Watrous, "Some Observations on Minoan Peak Sanctuaries," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin1995) II: 393-403.

L. V. Watrous, The Cave Sanctuary of Zeus at Psychro: A Study of Extra-Urban Sanctuaries in Minoan and Early Iron Age Crete [Aegaeum 15] (Liège/Austin 1996).

L. V. Watrous, “New Pottery from the Psychro Cave and its Implications for Minoan Crete,” BSA 99(2004) 129-147.

M. Zeimbeki, “The Organization of Votive Production and Distribution in the Peak Sanctuaries of State Society Crete: A Perspective Offered by the Juktas Clay Animal Figurines,” in G. Cadogan, E. Hatzaki, and A. Vasilakis (eds.), Knossos: Palace, City, State [BSA Studies 12] (London 2004) 351-361.

Extramural Cult Locales: The Sanctuary at Kato Syme

[see also below under "Cult Continuity"]

A. Lebessi, “Hermes as Master of Lions at the Syme Sanctuary, Crete,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 195-202.

A. Lebessi and P. Muhly, "The Sanctuary of Hermes and Aphrodite at Syme, Crete," National Geographic Research 3:1(1987) 102-113.

A. Lebessi and P. Muhly, "Aspects of Minoan Cult. Sacred Enclosures: The Evidence from the Syme Sanctuary (Crete)," AA (1990) 315-336.

A. Lebessi and P. Muhly, “Ideology and Cultural Interaction: Evidence from the Syme Sanctuary, Crete,” Cretan Studies 9(2003) 95-103.

A. Lebessi, P. Muhly, and G. Papasavvas, “The Runner’s Ring: A Minoan Athlete’s Dedication at the Syme Sanctuary, Crete,” AM 119(2004) 1-31.

E. Pharmakidou, “E proïstorike periodos ste Syme,” in A. Vlachopoulos and K. Birtacha (eds.), ARGONAUTIS: Timetikos tomos yia ton Kathegete Christo G. Douma apo tous mathetes tou sto Panepistimio Athenon (1980-2000) (Athens 2003) 292-299.

Divine Images and Epiphanies

S. N. D. Alexiou, "He minoïke thea meth' upsomenon cheiron," Kretika Chronika 12(1958) 179-299.

A. E. Barclay, “The Potnia Theron: Adaptation of a Near Eastern Image,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 373-386.

K. Branigan, "The Genesis of the Household Goddess," SMEA 8(1969) 22-38.

S. L. Budin, Images of Woman and Child from the Bronze Age : Reconsidering Fertility, Maternity, and Gender in the Ancient World (Cambridge 2011).

C. D. Cain, "Dancing in the Dark: Deconstructing a Narrative of Epiphany on the Isopata Ring," AJA 105(2001) 27-49.

J. L. Crowley, “In Honour of the Gods – But Which Gods? Identifying Deities in Aegean Glyptic,” in L. A. Hitchcock, R. Laffineur, and J. Crowley (eds.), DAIS: The Aegean Feast [Aegaeum 29] (Liège/Austin 2008) 75-87.

P. Demargne, "Deux représentations de la déesse minoenne dans la nécropole de Mallia (Crète)," Mélanges Gustave Glotz I (Paris 1932) 305-318.

B. C. Dietrich, "A Minoan Symbol of Renewal," JPR 2(1988) 12-24.

E. Fowden, "The Early Minoan Goddess: Images of Provision," JPR 3-4(1990) 15-18.

A. Furumark, "Gods of Ancient Crete," Opuscula Atheniensia 6(1965) 85-98.

G. C. Gesell, "The Place of the Goddess in Minoan Society," in O. Krzyszkowska and L. Nixon (eds.), Minoan Society (Bristol 1983) 93-99.

G. C. Gesell, “The Snake Goddesses of the LM IIIB and LM IIIC Periods,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 131-140.

R. Hägg, "Die göttliche Epiphanie im minoischen Ritual," AM 101(1986) 41-62.

B. Jones, “The Minoan ‘Snake Goddess’. New Interpretations of Her Costume and Identity,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 259-265.

R. Laffineur, “Seeing is Believing: Reflections on Divine Imagery in the Aegean Bronze Age,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 387-392.

N. Marinatos, “Rosette and Palm on the Bull Frieze from Tell el-Dab’a and the Minoan Solar Goddess of Kingship,” in M. Bietak, N. Marinatos, and C. Palyvou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna 2007) 145-150.

N. Marinatos and R. Hägg, "Anthropomorphic Cult Images in Minoan Crete?," in O. Krzyszkowska and L. Nixon (eds.), Minoan Society (Bristol 1983) 185-202.

S. Marinatos, "Hai minoïkai theai tou Gazi," ArchEph (1937) 278-291.

F. Matz, Göttererscheinung und Kultbild im minoischen Kreta (Wiesbaden 1958).

M. L. Moss, The Minoan Pantheon: Towards an Understanding of its Nature and Extent [BAR-IS 1343] (Oxford 2005).

P. Muhly, "The Great Goddess and the Priest King: Minoan Religion in Flux," Expedition 32:3(1990) 54-60.

W-D. Niemeier, "Zur Ikonographie von Gottheiten und Adoranten in den Kultszenen auf minoischen und mykenischen Siegeln," in W. Müller (ed.), Fragen und Probleme der bronzezeitlichen ägäischen Glyptik [CMS Beiheft 3] (Berlin 1989) 163-184.

G. Owens, "'All Religions are One' (William Blake 1757-1827), Astarte/Ishtar/Ishassaras/Asasarame: The Great Mother Goddess of Minoan Crete and the Eastern Mediterranean," Cretan Studies 5(1996) 209-218.

G. A. Owens, "New Evidence for Minoan 'Demeter'," Kadmos 35(1996) 172-175.

M. Prent, “The Survival of the Goddess with Upraised Arms: Early Iron Age Representations and Contexts,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 231-238.

B. Rutkowski, Frühgriechische Kultdarstellungen [AM Beiheft 8] (Berlin 1981).

Figurines

A. L. D'Agata, Hagia Triada II. Statuine minoiche e post-minoiche dai vecchi scavi di Haghia Triada (Creta) [Monografie della Scuola Archeologica di Atene IX] (Padova 1999).

S. L. Budin, Images of Woman and Child from the Bronze Age : Reconsidering Fertility, Maternity, and Gender in the Ancient World (Cambridge 2011).

G. C. Gesell, “The Snake Goddesses of the LM IIIB and LM IIIC Periods,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 131-140.

L. Girella, "Vasi rituali con elementi miniaurizzati a Creta, in Egeo, e nel Mediterraneo Orientale all fine dell’Età del Bronzo. Indicatori archeologici ed etnici,“ Creta Antica 3(2002) 167-216.

C. Morris, “Configuring the Individual: Bodies of Figurines in Minoan Crete,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 179-187.

M. Zeimbekis, The Typological Forms and Functions of Animal Figures from Minoan Peak Sanctuaries with Special Reference to Juktas and Kophinas (PhD dissertation, University of Bristol 1998).

M. Zeimbeki, “The Organization of Votive Production and Distribution in the Peak Sanctuaries of State Society Crete: A Perspective Offered by the Juktas Clay Animal Figurines,” in G. Cadogan, E. Hatzaki, and A. Vasilakis (eds.), Knossos: Palace, City, State [BSA Studies 12] (London 2004) 351-361.

Genii

C. Baurain, "Pour une autre interprétation des génies minoens," in P. Darcque and J-C. Poursat (eds.), L'iconographie minoenne [BCH Supplement 11] (Paris 1985) 95-118.

M. Benzi, "Minoan Genius on a LH III Pictorial Sherd from Phylakopi, Melos? Some Remarks on Religious and Ceremonial Scenes on Mycenaean Pictorial Pottery," Pasiphae 3(2009) 9-26.

M. A. V. Gill, "The Minoan 'Genius'," AM 79(1964) 1-21.

M. A. V. Gill, "A propos the Minoan Genius," AJA 74(1970) 404-406.

D. Isaac, "Les démons minoens," RHR 118(1938) 55-91.

P. Rehak, "The 'Genius' in Late Bronze Age Glyptic: the Later Evolution of an Aegean Cult Figure," in W. Müller (ed.), Sceaux Minoens et Mycéniens [CMS Beiheft 5] (Berlin 1995) 215-231.

C. Sambin, "Génie minoen et génie egyptien, un emprunt raisonné," BCH 113(1989) 77-96.

F. T. Van Straten, "The Minoan Genius in Mycenaean Art," BABesch 44(1969) 110-121.

J. Weingarten, The Transformation of Egyptian Taweret into the Minoan Genius: A Study in Cultural Transmission in the Middle Bronze Age [SIMA 88] (Partille 1991).

J. Weingarten, "The Transformation of Egyptian Taweret into the Minoan Genius," in A. Karetsou (ed.), Krete-Aigyptos: Politismikoi desmoi trion chilietion (Athens 2000) 114-119.

Miscellaneous Religious Iconography

F. Blakolmer, “Processions in Aegean Iconography II: Who Are the Participants?,” in L. A. Hitchcock, R. Laffineur, and J. Crowley (eds.), DAIS: The Aegean Feast [Aegaeum 29] (Liège/Austin 2008) 257-268.

E. F. Bloedow and C. Björk, "The Mallia Pendant: a Study in Iconography and Minoan Religion," SMEA 27(1989) 9-68.

C. Briault, “High Fidelity or Chinese Whispers? Cult Symbols and Ritual Transmission in the Bronze Age Aegean,” JMA 20(2007) 239-265.

N. Dimopoulou and G. Rethemiotakis, “The ‘Sacred Conversation’ Ring from Poros,” in W. Müller (ed.), Minoisch-mykenische Glyptik: Stil, Ikonographie, Funktion [CMS Beiheft 6] (Berlin 2000) 39-56.

A. Evans, "The 'Ring of Nestor': A Glimpse into the Minoan After-world," JHS 45(1925) 43-75.

R. Hägg and Y. Lindau, "The Minoan 'Snake Frame' Reconsidered," Opuscula Atheniensia 15(1984) 67-77.

B. P. Hallager, “The Ram in Cultic Contexts?,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 315-320.

B. P. Hallager, “A Unique Cult Scene,” in P. P. Betancourt, M. C. Nelson, and H. Williams (eds.), Krinoi kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw (Philadelphia 2007) 285-290.

S. Hiller, “Potnia/Potnios Aigon. On the Religious Aspects of Goats in the Aegean Late Bronze Age,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 293-304.

R. Jung, "Menschenopferdarstellungen? Zur Analyse minoischer und mykenischer Siegelbilder," PZ 72(1997) 133-194.

R. B. Koehl, "The Chieftain Cup and a Minoan Rite of Passage," JHS 106(1986) 99-110.

L. Kontorli-Papadopoulou, Aegean Frescoes of Religious Character [SIMA 117] (Göteborg 1996).

K. Krattenmaker, "Architecture in Glyptic Cult Scenes: The Minoan Examples," in W. Müller (ed.), Sceaux Minoens et Mycéniens [CMS Beiheft 5] (Berlin 1995) 117-133.

E. Kyriakidis, “Pithos or Baetyl? On the Interpretation of a Group of Minoan Rings,” Opuscula Atheniensia 25-26(2000-01) 117-118.

A. Lebessi, "Flagellation ou autoflagellation: Données iconographiques pour une tentative d'interpretation," BCH 115(1991) 99-123.

N. Marinatos, "Role and Sex Division in Ritual Scenes of Aegean Art," JPR 1(1987) 23-34.

N. Marinatos, “Rosette and Palm on the Bull Frieze from Tell el-Dab’a and the Minoan Solar Goddess of Kingship,” in M. Bietak, N. Marinatos, and C. Palyvou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna 2007) 145-150.

N. Marinatos, “Proskynesis and Minoan Theocracy,” in F. Lang, C. Reinholdt, and J. Weilhartner (eds.), STEPHANOS ARISTEIOS. Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros: Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag (Vienna 2007) 179-186.

P. Militello, “Archeologia, Iconografia e Culti ad Haghia Triada in Età TM IB,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 159-168.

C. Morris, “The Language of Gesture in Minoan Religion,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 245-251.

M. Nikolaïdou, The Double Axe in the Iconography of Minoan Vessels: Approaches to the Dynamics of Minoan Religious Symbolism (Ph.D. dissertation, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 1994) <in Greek>.

E. Papatsaroucha, “Le sanctuaire représenté en fragments: un aspect de l’iconographie talismanique,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 269-274.

I. Pini, "Zum 'Ring des Minos'," in EILAPINE. Tomos timetikos gia ton kathegete Nikolao Platona (Heraklion 1987) 441-455.

I. Pini, "Ergänzende Bemerkungen zum "Ring des Minos"," AA (1989) 1-4.

I. Pini, "The 'Ring of Nestor'," OJA 17(1998) 1-13.

J. A. Sakellarakis, "Über die Echtheit des sogenannten Nestorringes," Pepragmena tou G Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Athens 1973) A: 308-318.

A. Simandiraki-Grimshaw, “The Human Body in Minoan Religious Iconography,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 321-330.

C. Sourvinou-Inwood, "On the Authenticity of the Ashmolean Ring 1919.56," Kadmos 10(1971) 60-69.

C. Sourvinou-Inwood, "On the Lost ‘Boat’ Ring from Mochlos," Kadmos 12(1973) 145-158.

P. M. Warren, "The Ring of Minos," in EILAPINE. Tomos timetikos gia ton kathegete Nikolao Platona (Heraklion 1987) 485-500.

P. M. Warren, "Of Squills," in Centre Gustave Glotz, Aux origines de l'hellénisme: Hommage à Henri van Effenterre (Paris 1984) 17-24.

M. Wedde, "On the Road to the Godhead : Aegean Bronze Age Glyptic Procession Scenes," in Celebrations: Sanctuaries and the Vestiges of Cult Activity [Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens 6] (Bergen 2004) 151-186.

Cult Furniture: Artifact Types Associated with Cult

P. Åström and D. S. Reese, "Triton Shells in East Mediterranean Cults," JPR 3-4(1990) 5-14.

M. Benzi, “Daskalio (Vathy), Kalymnos: A Late Bronze I Sacred Cave in the East Aegean,” in W. Gauss, M. Lindblom, R. A. K. Smith, and J. C. Wright (eds.), Our Cups Are Full: Pottery and Society in the Aegean Bronze Age (Oxford 2011) 13-24.

P. P. Betancourt, M. G. Ciaccio, B. Crowell, J. M. Donohoe, and R. C. Green, “Ceramic Stands: A Group of Domestic and Ritual Objects from Crete and the Near East,” Expedition 26(1983) 32-37.

A. M. Bignasca, I kernoi circolari in Oriente e in Occidente: strumenti di culto e immagini cosmiche [Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis: Series Archaeologica 19] (Göttingen 2000).

H-G. Buchholz, Zur Herkunft der kretischen Doppelaxt: Geschichte und auswärtige Beziehungen eines minoischen Kultsymbols (Munich 1959).

G. Cadogan, "Clay Tubes in Minoan Religion," Pepragmena tou G Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Athens 1973) 34-38.

G. Cadogan, "Tubular Stands in Neopalatial Crete," in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 201-212.

D. Cameron, "The Minoan Horns of Consecration," in J. Marler (ed.), From the Realm of the Ancestors: An Anthology in Honor of Marija Gimbutas (Manchester 1997) 508-518.

A. L. D'Agata, "Late Minoan Crete and Horns of Consecration: A Symbol in Action," in R. Laffineur and J. L. Crowley (eds.), EIKON: Aegean Bronze Age Iconography: Shaping a Methodology [Aegaeum 8] (Liège 1992) 247-256.

P. Darcque and A. Van de Moortel, “Special, Ritual, or Cultic: A Case Study from Malia,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 31-41.

P. M. Day, L. Joyner, V. Kilikoglou, and G. C. Gesell, “Goddesses, Snake Tubes, and Plaques: Analysis of Ceramic Ritual Objects from the LM IIIC Shrine at Kavousi,” Hesperia 75(2006) 137-175.

P. Demargne, "La robe de la déesse minoenne sur un cachet de Mallia," RA 29-30 [Mélanges Charles Picard] (1949) 280-288.

S. Diamant and J. Rutter, "Horned Objects from Anatolia and the Near East and Possible Connexions with the Minoan ‘Horns of Consecration’," AS 19(1969) 147-177.

H. Georgiou, "Late Minoan Incense Burners," AJA 83(1979) 427-435.

G. C. Gesell, "The Minoan Snake Tube: A Survey and Catalogue," AJA 80(1976) 247-259.

G. C. Gesell, “The Goddesses with Up-raised Hands from Kavousi Ierapetras,” Pepragmena tou Z’ Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Rethymnon 1995) A1: 349-351.

G. C. Gesell and T. C. Saupe, “Methods used in the Construction of Ceramic Objects from the Shrine of the Goddess with Up-raised Hands at Kavousi,” in R. Laffineur and P. P. Betancourt (eds.), TEXNH: Craftsmen, Craftswomen and Craftsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 16] (Liège/Austin 1997) 123-125.

G. C. Gesell, “The Function of the Plaque in the Shrines of the Goddess with Up-raised Hands,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 253-258.

E. Hatzaki, “Structured Deposition as Ritual Action at Knossos,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 19-30.

M. Haysom, “The Double-Axe: A Contextual Approach to the Understanding of a Cretan Symbol in the Neopalatial Period,” OJA 29(2010) 35-55.

S. Hood, "Minoan Cup-Marks," Eirene 31(1995) 7-43.

D. Lefèvre-Novaro, “Un nouvel examen des modèles réduits trouvés dans la grande tombe de Kamilari,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 89-98.

M. Lowe Fri, The Double Axe in Minoan Crete: A Functional Analysis of Production and Use (Stockholm 2007).

M. Mante-Platonos, "Teletourgikes sphyres kai ropala sto minoïko kosmo," ArchEph (1981) 74-83.

P. Muhly, Minoan Libation Tables (Ph.D. dissertation, Bryn Mawr College 1981).

M. Nikolaïdou, The Double Axe in the Iconography of Minoan Vessels: Approaches to the Dynamics of Minoan Religious Symbolism (Ph.D. dissertation, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki 1994) <in Greek>.

D. Novaro, “I modellini fittili della tomba di Kamilari: il problema cronologico,” in V. La Rosa, D. Palermo, and L. Vagnetti (eds.), EPI PONTON PLAZOMENOI: Simposio italiano di Studi Egei dedicato a Luigi Bernabò Brea e Giovanni Pugliese Carratelli (Rome 1999) 151-161.

B. R. Powell, "The Significance of the So-called Horns of Consecration," Kadmos 16(1977) 70-82.

M. Prent, “The Survival of the Goddess with Upraised Arms: Early Iron Age Representations and Contexts,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 231-238.

D. Puglisi, “Dal ‘vassoio tripodato’ al kernos: un set di ceramiche TM IA da Haghia Triada e il suo contributo alla conoscenza del rituale minoico,” Creta Antica 11(2010) 45-129.

G. Rethemiotakis, “A Neopalatial Shrine Model from the Minoan Peak Sanctuary at Gournos Krousonas,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 189-199.

G. Rethemiotakis, “A Shrine-Model from Galatas," in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 293-302.

W. H. D. Rouse, "The Double Axe and the Labyrinth," JHS 21(1901) 268-274.

W. Schiering, "Ein minoisches Tonrhyton in Hammerform," Kretika Chronika 14(1972) 476-486.

I. Tournavitou, “Does Size Matter? Miniature Pottery Vessels in Minoan Peak Sanctuaries,“ in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 213-230.

E. Yiannouli, "Minoïka kerata kathieroseos,“ Pepragmena tou H Kretologikou Diethnous Synedriou (Heraklion 2000) 235-270.

Sacrificial Ritual and Rites

B. Bergquist, "Bronze Age Sacrificial Koine in the Eastern Mediterranean? A Study of Animal Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East," in J. Quaegebeuer, Ritual and Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East (Louvain 1993) 11-43.

E. F. Bloedow, "Notes on Animal Sacrifices in Minoan Religion," JPR 10(1996) 31-44.

R. J. Cromarty, Burning Bulls, Broken Bones: Sacrificial Ritual in the Context of Palace Period Minoan Religion [BAR-IS 1792] (Oxford 2008).

N. Marinatos, Minoan Sacrificial Ritual: Cult Practice and Symbolism (Stockholm 1986).

N. Marinatos, "An Offering of Saffron to the Minoan Goddess of Nature: The Role of the Monkey and the Importance of Saffron," in T. Linders and G. Nordquist (eds.), Gifts to the Gods (Uppsala 1987) 123-132.

N. Marinatos, "The Imagery of Sacrifice: Minoan and Greek," in R. Hägg, N. Marinatos, and G. Nordquist (eds.), Early Greek Cult Practice (Göteborg 1988) 9-10.

Human Sacrifice

J. D. Bremmer, The Strange World of Human Sacrifice (Leuven 2007).

D. D. Hughes, Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece (London 1991).

R. Jung, "Menschenopferdarstellungen? Zur Analyse minoischer und mykenischer Siegelbilder," PZ 72(1997) 133-194.

Y. Sakellarakis and E. Sapouna-Sakellarakis, "Drama of Death in a Minoan Temple," National Geographic 159:2(1981) 205-222.

S. M. Wall, J. H. Musgrave, and P. M. Warren, "Human Bones from a Late Minoan IB House at Knossos," BSA 81(1986) 333-388.

Medicine and Healing Cults

R. Arnott, "Healing and Medicine in the Aegean Bronze Age," Journal of Royal Society of Medicine 89(1996) 265-270.

C. Milani and C. Onofrio, La farmacia nel mondo minoico-miceneo ed egeo-anatolico (Chieti 1986).

L. Press, "The Worship of Healing Divinities and the Oracle in the Second Millennium B.C. from a Study in Aegean Glyptic Art," Archaeologia 29(1978) 1-15.

Tree and Pillar Cult

A. Evans, "The Mycenaean Tree and Pillar Cult and its Mediterranean Relations," JHS 21(1901) 99-204.

M. Gallo, “Per una reconsiderazione del betilo in ambito minoico,” Creta Antica 6(2005) 47-58.

L. Goodison, “‘Why All This about Oak or Stone?’: Trees and Boulders in Minoan Religion,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 51-57.

Ch. Kardara, "Hypaithrioi styloi kai dendra os mesa epiphaneias tou theou tou keraunou," ArchEph (1966) 149-200.

E. Kyriakidis, “Pithos or Baetyl? On the Interpretation of a Group of Minoan Rings,” Opuscula Atheniensia 25-26(2000-01) 117-118.

V. La Rosa, “Minoan Baetyls: Between Funerary Rituals and Epiphanies,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 221-227.

K. T. Mammel, Bodies in Bloom: The Association of Flora and Female Figures in Late Bronze Age Aegean Iconography (Senior Honors thesis, Dartmouth College 2011).

N. Marinatos, “The Date-Palm in Minoan Iconography and Religion,” Opuscula Atheniensia 15(1984) 115-122.

N. Marinatos, "The Tree as a Focus of Ritual Action in Minoan Glyptic Art," in W. Müller (ed.), Fragen und Probleme der bronzezeitlichen ägäischen Glyptik [CMS Beiheft 3] (Berlin 1989) 127-143.

N. Marinatos, “The Tree, the Stone and the Pithos: Glimpses into a Minoan Ritual,” in R. Laffineur (ed.), Annales d’archéologie de la Grèce antique [Aegaeum 6] (Liège 1990) 79-91.

E. Papatsaroucha, “La pierre et l’objet double: questions iconographiques de la glyptique minoenne,” in I. Bradfer, B. Detournay, and R. Laffineur (eds.), KRES TECHNITES: L’artisan crétois: Recueil d’articles en l’honneur de Jean-Claude Poursat, publié à l’occasion des 40 ans de la découverte du Quartier Mu [Aegaeum 26] (Liège/Austin 2005) 177-184.

B. Rutkowski, "Der Baumkult in der Ägäis," Visible Religion 3(1984) 159-171.

T. Strasser, "Storage and States on Prehistoric Crete: The Function of the Koulouras in the First Minoan Palaces," JMA 10(1997) 73-100.

P. Warren, "Of Baetyls," Opuscula Atheniensia 18(1990) 193-206.

J. G. Younger, “Tree Tugging and Omphalos Hugging on Minoan Gold Rings,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 43-49.

Fertility and Funerary Cult

L. Alberti, “Rethinking the Tomb of the Double Axes at Isopata, Knossos,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 99-105.

B. Burke, “Materialization of Mycenaean Ideology and the Ayia Triada Sarcophagus,” AJA 109(2005) 403-422.

B. C. Dietrich, "Death and Afterlife in Minoan Religion," Kernos 10(1997) 19-38.

R. Laffineur, "Fécondité et pratiques funéraires en Égée à l'âge du Bronze," in A. Bonanno (ed.), Archaeology and Fertility Cult in the Ancient Mediterranean (Amsterdam 1986) 79-96.

R. Laffineur, "À propos du sarcophagi d’Aghia Triada : Un ritual de nécromancie à l’époque protohistorique?,” Kernos 4(1991) 277-285.

D. Levi, "The Sarcophagus of Haghia Triada Restored,” Archaeology 9(1956) 192-199.

C. R. Long, "Shrines in Sepulchres? A Re-examination of Three Middle to Late Minoan Tombs," AJA 63(1959) 59-65.

C. Long, The Ayia Triadha Sarcophagus: A Study of Late Minoan and Mycenaean Funerary Practices and Beliefs [SIMA 41] (Göteborg 1974).

P.Militello, "Minoische Tradition und mykenische Innovation: Wandbilder und Kultaktivitäten in Agia Triada in SM IIIA," JOAI 75(2006) 185-203.

J. P. Nauert, “The Hagia Triada Sarcophagus: An Iconographical Study,” Antike Kunst 8(1965) 91-98.

J. P. Nauert, “A Goat-Chariot on the Hagia Triada Sarcophagus: A Further Note,” AJA 76(1972) 437.

R. Paribeni, “Il sarcofago dipinto di Haghia Triada,” Monumenti Antichi 19(1908) 677-756.

A. D. Peatfield, "Water, Fertility, and Purification in Minoan Religion," in C. Morris (ed.), Klados: Essays in Honour of J. N. Coldstream [BICS Supplement 63] (London 1995) 217-227.

W. Pötscher, "Der Termin des Festes auf dem Sarkophag von Hagia Triada," Klio 76(1994) 67-77.

W. Pötscher, "Tag und Nacht auf dem Sarkophag von Hagia Triada,“ Klio 79(1997) 19-22.

W. Pötscher, "Bemerkungen zum Sarkophag von Hagia Triada," in F. Blakolmer (ed.), Österreichische Forschungen zur ägäischen Bronzezeit 1998 (Vienna 2000) 107-110.

J. S. Soles, “Reverence for Dead Ancestors in Prehistoric Crete,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 229-236.

J. S. Soles, “Evidence for Ancestor Worship in Minoan Crete : New Finds from Mochlos,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 331-338.

E. Yannouli, “Fecundity and the Sacred: Some Preliminary Thoughts Regarding Bronze Age Greece,” JPR 11-12(1998) 65-84.

Bull-jumping and Other Bull-related Activities

W. G. Arnott, "Bull-leaping as Initiation," Liverpool Classical Monthly 18:8(1993) 114-116.

M. Bietak, “The Toreador Scenes in Avaris/Tell el-Dab’a,” Cretan Studies 5(1996) 123-125.

M. Bietak and N. Marinatos, “The Minoan Wall Paintings from Avaris,” Ägypten und Levante 5(1995) 49-62.

D. Collon, "Bull-Leaping in Syria," Ägypten und Levante 4(1994) 81-88.

S. Damiani Indelicato, "Were Cretan Girls Playing at Bull-leaping?," Cretan Studies 1(1988) 39-47.

W. Decker, Sport in der griechischen Antike: vom minoischen Wettkampf bis zu den olympischen Spielen (Munich 1995).

W. Decker, "Zum Stand der Erforschung des ‘Stierspiels’ in der Alten Welt,” in R. Dittmann, C. Eder, and B. Jacobs (eds.), Altertumswissenschaften im Dialog: Festschrift für Wolfram Nagel (Münster 2003) 31-79.

G. Forstenpointner, "Stierspiel oder Bocksgesang? Archäozoologische Aspekte zur Interpretation des Hornviehs als Opfertier in der Ägäis," in F. Blakolmer (ed.), Österreichische Forschungen zur ägäischen Bronzezeit 1998 (Vienna 2000) 51-68.

B. P. and E. Hallager, "The Knossian Bull - Political Propaganda in Neopalatial Crete?," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin 1995) II: 547-556.

R. Harrison, "The Bull Cult in Ancient Crete," History Today (April 1978) 218.

O. Lendle, "Das kretische Stiersprungspiel," Marburger Wincklemann-Programm,1965 (Marburg 1966) 30-37.

E. Loughlin, "Grasping the Bull by the Horns: Minoan Bull Sports," in S. Bell and G. Davies (eds.), Games and Festivals in Classical Antiquity [BAR-IS 1220] (Oxford 2004) 1-8.

J. A. Mac Gillivray, "Labyrinths and Bull-leapers,” Archaeology 53:6(2000) 53-55.

N. Marinatos, "The Bull as Adversary: Some Observations on Bull-Hunting and Bull-Leaping," Ariadne 5(1989) 23-32.

N. Marinatos, "The 'Export' Significance of Minoan Bull Hunting and Bull Leaping Scenes," Ägypten und Levante 4(1994) 89-93.

N. Marinatos, “Tell el-Dab’a Paintings – A Study in Pictorial Tradition,” Ägypten und Levante 8(1998) 83-99.

N. Marinatos, “Bull-leaping and Royal Ideology,” in M. Bietak, N. Marinatos, and C. Palyvou, Taureador Scenes in Tell el-Dab’a (Avaris) and Knossos (Vienna 2007) 127-132.

C. Obsomer, “Hérodote II 148 à l’origine du mot Labyrinthos? La Minotauromachie revisitée,” Cretan Studies 9(2003) 105-186.

D. Panagiotopoulos, “Das minoische Stierspringen. Zur Performanz und Darstellung eines altägäischen Rituals,” in J. Mylonopoulos and H. Roeder (eds.), Archäologie und Ritual. Auf der Suche nach der rituellen Handlung in den antiken Kulturen Ägyptens und Griechenlands (Vienna 2006) 125-138. https://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/propylaeumdok/75/

R. Perez, "Ringkampf mit dem Stier," Merian XII:8(1959) 43.

O. Pelon, "Le palais de Malia et les jeux de taureaux," in L. Hadermann-Misguich et al. (eds.), Rayonnement grec: hommages à Charles Delroye (Brussels 1982) 45-57.

J. Pinsent, "Bull-leaping," in O. Krzyszkowska and L. Nixon (eds.), Minoan Society (Bristol 1983) 259-271.

P. Rehak, "The Use and Destruction of Minoan Stone Bull's Head Rhyta," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin1995) II: 435-460.

A. Reichel, "Die Stierspiele in der kretisch-mykenischen Kultur," AM 34(1909) 85-99.

J. A. Sakellarakis, "Das Kuppelgrab A von Archanes und das kretisch-mykenische Tieropferritual," PZ 45(1970) 135-219.

T. F. Scanlon, "Women, Bull Sports, Cults and Initiation in Minoan Crete,“ Nikephoros 12(1999) 33-70.

M. C. Shaw, "Bull Leaping Frescoes at Knossos and their Influence on the El Dab'a Murals," Ägypten und Levante 5(1995) 91-120.

M. C. Shaw, "The Bull-leaping Fresco from below the Ramp House at Mycenae: a Study in Iconography and Artistic Transmission," BSA 91(1996) 167-190.

T. Sipahi, “Eine althethitische Reliefvase vom Hüseyindede Tepesi,” Istanbuler Mitteilungen 50(2000) 63-85.

T. Sipahi, “New Evidence from Anatolia Regarding Bull-leaping Scenes in the Art of the Aegean and the Near East,” Anatolica 27(2001) 107-126.

P. Taracha, “Bull-leaping on a Hittite Vase. New Light on Anatolian and Minoan Religion,” Archaeologica Warsawa 53(2002) 7-20.

J. G. Thompson, "The Bull-jumping Exhibition at Mallia," Archaeological News 14(1985) 1-8.

A. Ward, "The Cretan Bull Sports," Antiquity 42(1968) 117-122.

J. G. Younger, "Bronze Age Representations of Aegean Bull-leaping," AJA 80(1976) 125-137.

J. G. Younger, "A New Look at Aegean Bull-leaping," Muse 17(1983) 72-80.

J. Younger, "Bronze Age Representations of Aegean Bull-Games, III," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin1995) II: 507-545.

Long-term Continuity of Cult at Individual Minoan Cult Places

A. Kanta, "Cult, Continuity and the Evidence of Pottery at the Sanctuary of Syme Viannou, Crete," in D. Musti (ed.), La transizione dal miceneo all'alto arcaismo (Rome 1991) 479-505.

S. Hiller, "Cretan Sanctuaries and Mycenaean Palatial Administration at Knossos," in J. Driessen and A. Farnoux (eds.), La Crète mycénienne [BCH Supplement 30] (Paris 1997) 205-212.

A. Lebessi, "E synecheia tes kretomykenaikes latreias. Epibioseis kai anabioseis," ArchEph (1981) 1-24.

A. D. Peatfield, "After the Big Bang - What? or Minoan Symbols and Shrines beyong Palatial Collapse," in S. E. Alcock and R. Osborne (eds.), Placing the Gods: Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece (Oxford 1994) 19-36.

J. Whitley, “The Chimera of Continuity: What Would ‘Continuity of Cult’ Actually Demonstrate?,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult : Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hepseria Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 279-288.

Miscellaneous Minoan Ritual Behavior

T. Carter, “Transformative Processes in Liminal Spaces: Craft as Ritual Action in the Throne Room Area,” in G. Cadogan, E. Hatzaki, and A. Vasilakis (eds.), Knossos: Palace, City, State [BSA Studies 12] (London 2004) 273-282.

F. Chapouthier, “Une table à offrandes au palais de Mallia,” BCH 52(1928) 292-323.

T. F. Cunningham and L. H. Sackett, “Does the Widespread Cult Activity at Palaikastro Call for a Special Explanation?,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 79-97.

C. Ferrari and N. Cucuzza, "I cosiddetti kernoi di Festòs," Creta Antica 5(2004) 53-96.

L. Girella, “Un pitharaki MM III dal nuovo “Settore Nord-est” di Haghia Triada,” Creta Antica 4(2003) 343-358.

L. Girella, "Forms of Commensal Politics in Neopalatial Crete," Creta Antica 8(2007) 135-168.

L. Goodison, “From Tholos Tomb to Throne Room: Perceptions of the Sun in Minoan Ritual,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 77-88.

R. Hägg, "The Last Ceremony in the Throne Room at Knossos," Opuscula Atheniensia 17(1988) 99-106.

N. Hillbom, For Games or for Gods? An Investigation of Minoan Cup Holes [SIMA 132] (Sävedalen 2003).

S. Hood, “Minoan Cup Marks,” Eirene 31(1995) 7-43.

E. Karagianni, Minoika syntheta skeve (kernoi) (Athens 1984).

R. B. Koehl, “The ‘Sacred Marriage’ in Minoan Religion and Ritual,” in R. Laffineur and R. Hägg (eds.), POTNIA. Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 22] (Liège/Austin 2001) 237-243.

A. Lebessi, "Flagellation ou autoflagellation: Données iconographiques pour une tentative d'interpretation," BCH 115(1991) 99-123.

S. H. Lonsdale, "A Dancing Floor for Ariadne (Iliad 18.590-592): Aspects of Ritual Movement in Homer and Minoan Religion," in J. B. Carter and S. P. Morris (eds.), The Ages of Homer: A Tribute to Emily Townsend Vermeule (Austin 1995) 273-284.

N. Marinatos, "Public Festivals in the West Courts of the Palaces," in R. Hägg and N. Marinatos (eds.), The Function of the Minoan Palaces (Stockholm 1987) 135-143.

N. Marinatos, "Cult by the Seashore: What Happened at Amnisos?," in R. Hägg (ed.), The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis (Stockholm 1996) 135-139.

J. M. A. Murphy, “Gods in the House? Religious Rituals in the Settlements of South Central Crete,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 11-17.

D. Palermo, “La cronologia dei cosiddetti ‘kernoi’ e il problema delle origini del culto sull’Acropoli di Gortyna,” Creta Antica 3(2002) 255-262.

D. Puglisi, “Azione rituale da Festòs a Thera: Un’interpretazione funzionale del complesso adyton-polythyron nel mondo egeo,” in Studi in onore di Vincenzo La Rosa (Catania 2011) 323-342.

P. Rehak, "The Ritual Destruction of Minoan Art," Archaeological News 19(1994) 1-6.

P. Rehak, "The Use and Destruction of Minoan Stone Bull's Head Rhyta," in R. Laffineur and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), POLITEIA: Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age [Aegaeum 12] (Liège/Austin1995) II: 435-460.

A. Sarpaki, “Harvest Rites and Corn Dollies in the Bronze Age Aegean,” in A. L. D’Agata and A. Van de Moortel (eds.), Archaeologies of Cult: Essays on Ritual and Cult in Crete in Honor of Geraldine C. Gesell [Hesperia Supplement 42] (Princeton 2009) 59-67.

A. Simandiraki-Grimshaw, “Religious Exchanges between Minoan Crete and its Neighbours : Methodological Considerations,” in K. Duistermaat and I. Regulski (eds.), Intercultural Contacts in the Ancient Mediterranean [Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 202] (Leuven 2011) 79-88.

J. S. Soles, “Evidence for Ancestor Worship in Minoan Crete : New Finds from Mochlos,” in O. Krzsyzkowska (ed.), Cretan Offerings: Studies in Honour of Peter Warren [BSA Studies 18] (London 2010) 331-338.

A. Suter, The Narcissus and the Pomegranate. An Archaeology of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (Ann Arbor 2002).

H. Whittaker, “Minoan Board Games: The Function and Meaning of Stones with Depressions (So-called Kernoi) from Bronze Age Crete,” Aegean Archaeology 6(2002) 73-87.

Foundation Deposits

C. Boulotis, "Ein Gründungsdepositum im minoischen Palast von Kato Zakros. Minoisch-mykenische Bauopfer," Archälogisches Korrespondenzblatt 12(1982) 153-166.

C. Boulotis, “Minoïkoi apothetes themeliosis,“ in Pepragmena tou E’ Diethnes Kretologikou Synedriou (Heraklion 1985) A: 248-257.

V. La Rosa, “Liturgie domestiche e/o depositi di fondazione? Vecchi e nuovi dati da Festòs e Haghia Triada," Creta Antica 3(2002) 13-50.

O. Pelon, "Un depôt de fondation au palais de Mallia," BCH 110(1986) 3-19.

Minoan Religion and Linear A

C. Davaras, “Three New Linear A Libation Vessel Fragments from Petsophas,” Kadmos 20(1981) 1-6.

A. Furumark, "Linear A and Minoan Religion," Opuscula Atheniensia 17(1988) 51-90.

A. Karetsou, L. Godart, and J-P. Olivier, "Inscriptions en linéaire A du sanctuaire de sommet du mont Iouktas," Kadmos 24(1985) 89-147.

M. L. Moss, The Minoan Pantheon: Towards an Understanding of its Nature and Extent [BAR-IS 1343] (Oxford 2005).

K. Nikolidaki and G. Owens, "The Minoan Libation Formula - Practical Considerations," Cretan Studies 4(1994) 149-155.

G. Owens, "Evidence for the Minoan Language: The Minoan Libation Formula," Cretan Studies 5(1996) 163-208.

Y. Sakellarakis and J-P. Olivier, "Un vase en pierre avec inscription en linéaire A du sanctuaire de sommet minoen de Cythère," BCH 118(1994) 343-351.

I. Schoep, "Ritual, Politics and Script on Minoan Crete," in B. Rutkowski (ed.), Aegean Archaeology 1(1994) 7-25.

Priests, Priestesses, Priest-Kings, and Matriarchs

J. Bamberger, "The Myth of Matriarchy: Why Men Rule in Primitive Society," in M. Z. Rosaldo and L. Lamphere (eds.), Women, Culture and Society (Stanford 1974) 263-280.

E. L. Bennett, "On the Use and Misuse of the Term 'Priest-King'," Kretika Chronika 15-16(1961-62) 327-335.

M. Blomberg and H. Göran, "Minos Enneoros: Archaeoastronomical Light on the Priestly Role of the King in Crete," in P. Hellström and B. Alroth (eds.), Religion and Power in the Ancient Greek World (Uppsala 1996) 27-39.

C. Downing, "Prehistoric Goddesses, The Cretan Challenge," Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 1(1985) 7-22.

S. Evasdaughter, Crete Reclaimed: A Feminist Exploration of Bronze Age Crete (Loughborough 1996).

L. Goodison and H. Hughes-Brock, “Helen Waterhouse and Her ‘Priest-Kings?’ Paper,” Cretan Studies 7(2002) 89-96.

N. Marinatos, "Divine Kingship in Minoan Crete," in P. Rehak (ed.), The Role of the Ruler in the Prehistoric Aegean [Aegaeum 11] (Liège/Austin1995) 37-48.

N. Marinatos, “The Lily Crown and Sacred Kingship in Minoan Crete,” in P. P. Betancourt, M. C. Nelson, and H. Williams (eds.), Krinoi kai Limenes: Studies in Honor of Joseph and Maria Shaw (Philadelphia 2007) 271-276.

P. Muhly, "The Great Goddess and the Priest King: Minoan Religion in Flux," Expedition 32:3(1990) 54-60.

P. Rehak, "The Aegean 'Priest' on CMS I 223," Kadmos 33(1994) 76-84.

P. Rehak, “Children’s Work: Girls as Acolytes in Aegean Ritual and Cult,” in A. Cohen and J. B. Rutter, Constructions of Childhood in Ancient Greece and Italy [Hesperia Supplement 41] (Princeton 2007) 205-225.

H. Waterhouse, "Priest-Kings?," BICS (1974) 153-155.

M. A. Zembeikis, The Priesthood in Crete: A Minoan Perspective (M.A. thesis, University of Bristol 1991).

Reflections of Minoan Crete in Later Greek Mythology

C. Baurain, "Minos et la Thalassocratie minoenne. Réflexions historiographiques sur la naissance d'un mythe," in R. Laffineur and L. Basch (eds.), THALASSA. L'Égée préhistorique et la mer [Aegaeum 7] (Liège 1991) 255-266.

N. Schlager, "Minotauros in der ägäischen Glyptik?," in W. Müller (ed.), Fragen und Probleme der bronzezeitlichen ägäischen Glyptik [CMS Beiheft 3] (Berlin 1989) 225-237.


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