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Old Deities for New Men? The Social, Cultural and Political Role of Religion and Ritual Practices during the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Transitional Period on Crete

Author(s): Florence Gaignerot-Driessen

Year: 2017

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Summary

It is generally assumed that the Minoan Goddess remained venerated on Crete after the destruction of the Minoan and Mycenaean Palaces. In the Late Bronze Age, in the aftermath of the collapse of the palatial system, freestanding bench sanctuaries housing large terra-cotta female figures with uplifted arms and their ritual vessels appeared in a series of newly founded Cretan sites. Since their typical gesture recalls Minoan scenes allegedly representing the epiphany of a female divinity, these figures have traditionally been interpreted as a survival of Minoan cult practices and labelled "Goddesses with Upraised Hands". However epigraphic, iconographic, technological, and archaeological evidence makes this assumption questionable. This paper aims showing that they most likely represented votive offerings emblematic of emerging social groups. On the basis of this hypothesis, the reference to ancient cult motives in a new religious system is considered. In a more general sense, the Cretan case is used here to evaluate the role of religion in shaping a new social order and political organisation during a period of transition.


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Old Deities for New Men? The Social, Cultural and Political Role of Religion and Ritual Practices during the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age Transitional Period on Crete. Florence Gaignerot-Driessen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429646)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 12154

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