Virtual Reality: Tree Cult and Epiphanic Ritual in Aegean Glyptic Iconography.
Source TitleJournal of Prehistoric Religion
PublisherAstroms forlag - Astrom Editions
University of Melbourne Author/sTully, Caroline
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsTULLY, C. (2016). Virtual Reality: Tree Cult and Epiphanic Ritual in Aegean Glyptic Iconography.. Journal of Prehistoric Religion, XXV, pp.19-30
Access StatusOpen Access
For the first half of the twentieth century and even up until quite recently Minoan religion has been interpreted through an evolutionist lens. Glyptic iconography depicting ritual activity inconjunction with trees and stones has been considered evidence for the evolutionary trajectoryof Minoan religion from an earlier “primitive” phase, characterised by aniconism, to a moresophisticated stage signied by anthropomorphism. In contrast, this article proposes thatMinoan religion was simultaneously physiomorphic, theriomorphic and anthropomorphic.Through examination of the Minoan imagery of epiphany set within natural landscapes, inconjunction with comparative ethnographic analysis of cult activity and religious symbolismfrom the Levant and Egypt, it is determined that Minoan religion was a “nature” religion thatwas experienced through the mediation of elite human performance.
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