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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in ancient art

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Royal Purple: Minoan Sacred Wealth

The deep purple dye commonly known as Phoenician purple got its start centuries before the Phoenicians, with the Minoans and their expansive trading network. The dye, created from the excretions of several different species of sea snails, was one of the most expensive in the ancient world. And it's one of the ways the Minoans became so wealthy.

The Minoans were producing the murex dye on the island of Chrysi off the coast of Crete as early as 1600 BCE. That's the earliest confirmed date, anyway. It's likely there were other dyeworks around Crete that haven't been discovered yet, and some of them will probably date to earlier, given how extensive and developed the Chrysi dyeworks were.

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The Minoan Seal Ring Project: Minoan-Inspired Modern Art

Art from around the world and across time is one of the aspects of human existence that connects us all. Whether we're looking at mammoths on a cave wall or a framed painting in a museum, we innately understand the urge to express ourselves creatively. It has been a part of us for as long as we've been human.

Art from the ancient world does more than just help us understand the people who lived back then. It can also inspire us to creativity in our own modern lives.

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The  Minoan Menagerie Part 3: Animals of the Sea

This is the third in a series about animals in Minoan art. Part 1: Animals of the Land and Part 2: Animals of the Sky complete the exploration of the three realms, though we will still have a look at mythical critters in Part 4 (coming up next week).

Of the three realms of land, sky, and sea, the sea is perhaps the most prevalent in Minoan culture and art. Crete is, after all, an island, and the Minoans developed their great wealth as seafaring traders. So it's understandable that the waters of the Mediterranean, and the creatures that live in those waters, would feature in Minoan art in a major way.

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 2: Animals of the Sky

Last time, we looked at some of the land animals the Minoans depicted in their art: cattle, monkeys, lions, and so on. Today, we're going to explore the Minoans' images of animals of the sky, the domain of our Sun goddess Therasia - so, essentially, birds, though I think bees also count.

Sometimes it's easy to tell which type of bird is being shown. For instance, that's a swallow flying by some lilies in the image at the top, which is a segment of the Spring fresco from Akrotiri. Here's the whole thing, with quite a few swallows:

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The Minoan Menagerie Part 1: Animals of the Land

Minoan art is inspiring, full of movement and color. Minoan artists depicted the natural world just as often as they showed sacred or ritual scenes. And the art is full of animals, usually depicted with enough accuracy that we can identify the exact species. While some animals in Minoan art are associated with specific deities and act as part of their iconography, others have no sacred associations that we're aware of (yet). So here, we're just going to look at the animals themselves, without referencing the iconography. The art is inspiring enough as it is, if you ask me.

I'm going to organize our exploration of Minoan animals based on the threefold division of land, sea, and sky that prevails in Modern Minoan Paganism and that we think was important to the ancient Minoans. The three realms correspond to our three mother goddesses; the land is the domain of our Earth Mother goddess Rhea.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
2020: The MMP Blog Greatest Hits

Just like a lot of people, toward the end of December I like to look back over the previous year and review all that has happened. Part of that process involves looking at my blog posts here to see what turned out to be popular and what didn't. That helps me know what people are interested in and where I should put my energy when I'm writing future blog posts. So here's my 2020 Top Ten List.

It's no surprise that my most popular blog post this year is the one that lists the full MMP pantheon. Popular culture leads a lot of people to think that Minoan spirituality is just about the Snake Goddess (those fabulous figurines!) or Ariadne and the Minotaur. But really, there's so much more, and I'm thrilled that folx are checking out all the deities in our pantheon.

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The MMP Pantheon: The goddess Ariadne

This is one in a series of blog posts about the MMP pantheon. Find the list of the whole series here.

Ariadne: most people have heard of her, with her ball of string, helping Theseus find his way out of the Labyrinth. If you've been reading this blog for long, you know the Theseus story is Greek, not Minoan, created centuries after the fall of Minoan civilization. Theseus was a Greek culture hero, not a part of the Minoan pantheon. Ariadne, though, is another story. She's a Minoan goddess. So where can we find her in the art of ancient Crete?

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