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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Crete
Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics... and Minoan Art

Lies, damn lies, and statistics - you've heard the saying. But sometimes, we really do have to look at the hard numbers to see what's really there, because our impressions can be incorrect, often wildly so.

Case in point: Minoan art.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tasty Treats, Minoan Style

Food is such an important facet of human culture and a great way to connect with others. It's also a fabulous way to make a long-ago culture feel more real.

I've shared about Minoan food and cooking before, here and hereToday, I'm going to go all "ancient food blogger" on you with an actual recipe.

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  • Calysta Rose
    Calysta Rose says #
    oh this sounds delicious! I'll have to try this soon ty!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
This little piggy went to Knossos...

CW: animal sacrifice

Everyone knows the Minoans had cattle - the Minotaur is testament to that fact, as are the many bovine head rhytons and cattle figurines found at Minoan sites. Most people have heard that they had sheep and goats, and no one is surprised that they ate fish and shellfish, given that they lived on an island.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Modern Inspiration = Minoan Confusion

Minoan art is a constant inspiration: the colorful frescoes with people in naturalistic poses, an emphasis on the beauty of nature... but a lot of the "Minoan art" that circulates online is not Minoan at all, and definitely not ancient, even if it's inspired by the ancient originals.

Take the lovely image at the top of this post. It's a modern work that's a combination of this fresco from Akrotiri, ca. 1625 BCE:

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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, sky, and sea that we use in Ariadne's Tribe 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
Minoan goddesses: Who is Potnia?

We don't know for certain what the Minoans called their gods and goddesses since we can't read Linear A, the script they used to write their native language. But we can read Linear B, which is an adaptation of Linear A that was used to write Mycenaean Greek way back in late Minoan times. And one of the most common goddess epithets in the Linear B tablets is Potnia.

So who is she? She is many goddesses. Let me explain why.

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Myth-information: Minoan facts, rumors, and wild tales

The Internet is a great source of information, but it turns out that it's also a repository of out-of-date and incorrect ideas that keep getting passed around again and again simply because they're floating around in cyberspace. Believe it or not, the Minoans are the subject of quite a few of these bits of misinformation.

In the interest of efficiency, here's the list of Minoan-related concepts that I find myself having to explain most often. Don't panic; I believed many of them myself at one time. But it's a good idea to set the record straight. Plus, this way I have a link to point people to instead of having to constantly repeat myself. :-)

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