Cockles, Mussels, Fishing Nets, and Finery: The Relationship between Cult, Textiles, and the Sea Depicted on a Minoan-Style Gold Ring from Pylos
Source TitleJournal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies
PublisherPenn State University Press
University of Melbourne Author/sTully, Caroline
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTully, C. (2020). Cockles, Mussels, Fishing Nets, and Finery: The Relationship between Cult, Textiles, and the Sea Depicted on a Minoan-Style Gold Ring from Pylos. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies, 8 (3-4), pp.365-378. https://doi.org/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.8.3–4.0365.
Access StatusOpen Access
The Griffin Warrior Ring No. 2 is a gold Minoan-style engraved signet ring from Pylos dating to the Late Helladic IIA (1580–1490 BCE). The ring’s bezel depicts a seascape with a columnar tree shrine flanked by palm trees situated on a rocky outcrop. Five elaborately dressed female figures stand on either side of the shrine. The tree shrine features a net pattern in the space between its stone or brick piers. I argue that this represents a fishing net and that the structure is a sea altar dedicated to an unnamed Minoan tree deity. The ring’s hoop is decorated with cockleshells, further emphasizing its marine theme. I propose that the iconography alludes to marine food resources, practical and luxury textile fibers, sea trade, transculturality, and cult and is testament to the importance of the sea in the Aegean Bronze Age.
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