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Archaeology of Religion 4.docx

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Mount Allison University
CLAS 2531
Illaria Battiloro

Prehistory of Greek Religion  Minoan civilization arose on the island of Crete  between 2000 BCE and 1000 BCE, two civilizations developed in the Meditarranean- Minoans and Mycenaeans  all civilizations were built around a great palace  Greeks came into contact with Minoans, borrowed many cultural aspects  Mycenaeans were the earliest Greeks living on mainland Greece, they spoke and wrote in Greek Minoan Cult Places  no monumental temples like in later Greece, instead small shrines in various locations  sources: archaeological and visual- writing remains undeciphered  Minoans had the architectural, stone masonry techniques to build massive temples, but they chose not to  different types of cult places: 1. Cave Sanctuaries  not just used by Minoans, caves have been considered sacred (mysterious) across time and culture  naturally defined boundaries (recall: sacred means "separated")  not all caves were used as cult places  ie. Psychro Cave (eastern Crete)- discovered many different types of votice material, including bronze statuettes 2. Peak Sanctuaries  located on the top of a hill or mountain (interior Crete is very mountainous)  represented on Zakro Rhyton- depicts entrance of peak sanctuary  surrounded by mountain goats and other animals  horns, used in cultic practices  open air, surrounded by a wall, a central altar for sacrfices  Tripartite Shrine- divided into three parts  ie. Sanctuary at Petsopha- an open air shrine with firs  located on two different terraces- just two of the three parts of the tripartite sanctuary  contains figurines, statuettes made of clay, representing worshipers- most common offering in the Greek world  ie. Iuktas Peak Sanctuary  above the settlement of Arkhanes, very near Knosos
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