School of Historical and Philosophical Studies - Theses

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    What are these queer stones? Baetyls: epistemology of a Minoan fetish
    Crooks, Samuel G. ( 2011)
    This thesis examines the aniconic cult stones, or baetyls, of the Aegean Bronze Age. Minoan baetyls are commonly understood by reference to the interpretive vocabularies of ancient Near Eastern traditions adopted by comparative ethnographies popular in the early 20th century. This study presents and interrogates the Aegean evidence for baetyl cult, providing the first comprehensive catalogue of archaeological evidence attesting to this cultic practice. A rigorous contextual analysis provides the basis for interpreting and (re)constructing aspects of the cult. It is argued that the ambiguity inherent in these aniconic stones renders them uniquely flexible in serving multiple functions across different contexts.