Thalassocratic charms: trees, boats, women and the sea in Minoan glyptic art
Source TitleProceedings of the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies
PublisherSociety of Cretan Historical Studies
University of Melbourne Author/sTully, Caroline
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsTully, C. (2018). Thalassocratic charms: trees, boats, women and the sea in Minoan glyptic art. Proceedings of the 12th International Congress of Cretan Studies, pp.1-12. Society of Cretan Historical Studies.
Access StatusOpen Access
This paper argues that four Minoan glyptic images which combine trees, human figures, boats and the sea represent the combination of native Minoan with Canaanite religious ideas concerning a tree goddess who also had power over the sea. Each image is a glyph of the protective power of the Minoan tree deity over maritime voyaging within the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. The empowerment of seafaring expeditions through supernatural patronage emphasises Minoan land-based power over the sea and extends the Cretan landscape outward to incorporate the seascape. It is further proposed that the images functioned in a protective talismanic capacity and that the containment of the iconographic motifs within the confines of gold rings and a stone seal linked the Minoan elites who owned these objects with the exotic aura of transculturality and power associated with overseas trade.
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