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Horns under the Axe: Horn-Shaping in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean

Konferensbidrag (offentliggjort, men ej förlagsutgivet)
Författare Helene Whittaker
Publicerad i European Association of Archaeology 24th Annual Meeting. Barcelona, 5-8 September 2018
Publiceringsår 2018
Publicerad vid Institutionen för historiska studier
Språk en
Länkar https://www.e-a-a.org/EAA2018
Ämneskategorier Arkeologi

Sammanfattning

This paper is intended as a contribution to the discussion on the symbolic relationship between humans and animals in prehistory. My main focus will be on the representation of cattle in Cretan iconography in the Late Bronze Age. The starting-point for my discussion will be the association between double axes and cattle, which can be seen in different types of representations, and would seem to have a very particular meaning. Very often only the head of the animal is depicted and there seems to be a specific emphasis on the horns. It is also noticeable that the horns can be shown in many different ways. Comparative evidence, in particular from eastern Africa, suggests that the association between horns and axes can be interpreted as a reference to the shaping of the horns of the animal. This practice has a long time-depth and it is believed that it can be traced far back into prehistory. I will discuss the significance that the practice of shaping the horns of cattle into desirable shapes may have played in the Cretan Bronze Age. In the last part of the paper, I will discuss more generally the modification of the appearance of animals for aesthetic and other reasons in the context of the relationship between animals and humans.

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