Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2009

1 March 2010

Apiculture in the Prehistoric Aegean. Minoan and Mycenaean Symbols Revisited

Haralampos V. Harissis & Anastasios V. Harissis

Apiculture in the Prehistoric Aegean. Minoan and Mycenaean Symbols Revisited

City: Oxford

Year: 2009

Publisher: Archaeopress

Series: BAR S1958S

Description: Paperback, 100 p., b/w ill., 29,5x21 cm


This study surveys the evidence for beekeeping in the Prehistoric Aegean, from references in later literature to archaeological remains of beekeeping paraphernalia, symbolic depictions in jewellery and on seals, and the evidence of folklore and mythology. Finds of hives, smoking pots, honey extractors (some of them identified as such by the authors) and so-on indicate systematic Minoan apiculture, and the authors propose that contra Evans, seals can be reinterpreted as depicting apiculture, rather than religious scenes, and used by overseers of beekeeping, a high-status and highly valued industry.




Part 1: The literary sources and the archaeological evidence

  • Apiculture in prehistory
  • Apiculture in the prehistoric Aegean
  • Beekeepers and beekeeping practices
  • Beekeeping paraphernalia
  • Beehives
  • Smoking pots
  • Vessels from the “Snake Room” in Knossos

Part 2: The iconographical evidence. Minoan and Mycenaean symbols revisited

  • Contra Evans
  • “Fruits on sacred trees”
  • “Festoons and pearls”
  • “Ritual bending of the sacred tree”
  • “Flying gods”
  • “Great Goddess
  • “Baetyls and bird epiphany of deities”
  • “Altars”
  • “Horns of concentration”
  • “Sacral knot”
  • “Temenos”
  • “Double axe”




Works cited


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