Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


7 March 2016

Gifts to the goddess. A gold ring from Mylopotamos, Rethymnon

Eleni Papadopoulou with an appendix by Nikos Kallithrakas-Kontos & Noni Maravelaki-Kalaitzaki Mitteleilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. Athenische Mitteilungen 126 (2011) [2014]: 1-27


The bezel of a gold signet ring was found during the excavation of an important tholos tomb southwest of Perama Mylopotamou, in use from LM IIIA1 until the beginning of LM IIIB. The representation on the golden foil of the bezel consists of three religious themes corresponding to interconnected iconographic fields: a tree cult, an epiphany and an arrangement of offerings. The scene depicts the moment when the goddess has just arrived in the terrestrial world; the deity is portrayed alone in her anthropomorphic form, seated in the sacred place. All constituent elements of the scene point to the lifecycle of plants and obviously signify the life-giving powers of nature that ensure its everlasting fruitfulness. Besides this new evidence for the subject of Minoan religion, the bezel also raises interesting hermeneutical questions with regard to the artistically innova¬tive rendering of the sacred gifts as well as the symbolic unification of the human and divine worlds.


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