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The Queen of Heaven in Iron Age Greece: Analyzing Religious Ideology and Symbolism on Multiple Scales

Author(s): Megan Daniels

Year: 2015

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Summary

In this paper, I approach religion and ideology in the archaeological record through an analysis of iconographic symbols, one that centres on the dialectic between longstanding meanings of symbols as they are transmitted across space and time and the local social, political, and intellectual contexts in which they appear. I situate my analysis within recent models from cultural evolutionary psychology, which see religion, along with its attendant rituals and symbolisms, as an adaptive mechanism for human groups that both reflects and enables growing social complexity in human societies. My paper will move forward on two levels: I will first analyze the meanings behind the broadly shared mythical, literary, and iconographic motif of the Queen of Heaven as she was transmitted between the Near Eastern and Mediterranean worlds across the Bronze and Iron Ages, particularly in terms of her socio-political connotations. I will then consider the appearance of her symbolism within several sites on mainland Greece in the Iron Age. In particular, I will interpret the meanings behind these symbols against the longstanding tradition of the Queen of Heaven as a deity connected to divine kingship as well as the novel socio-political and intellectual contexts developing in the Iron Age.

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The Queen of Heaven in Iron Age Greece: Analyzing Religious Ideology and Symbolism on Multiple Scales. Megan Daniels. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396470)


Keywords

General
Greece Iron Age Religion

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America