Bronze Age Mediterranean: 15th century BC

Mycenaean Greece: goddesses

15th—16th century BC, Mycenaean culture, southern Aegean.

A girl or female attendant seems to be venerating this seated lady against the backdrop of a double-axe.

'Ladies with bare bosoms wearing flounced skirts,' said Miranda. 'I have five of them on these two Mycenaean rings here, all in similar skirts, all with bare bosoms. Not a man to be seen anywhere. Two of them seem to be venerating something phallic in a shrine. Another two are speaking with a lady who is sitting beneath a tree, with a girl or a female attendant behind them who seems to be venerating this seated lady against the backdrop of a double-axe.'

Female attendants depicted on a Mycenaean gold ringGoddess worship depicted on a Mycenaean gold ring

Images from two Myceneaen gold rings (redrawn)

All over South-west Asia, she read, early farming communities seem to have focused their worship upon fertility and the life-creating forces expressed through a maternal figure in human form... It was accepted among the stone-using farmers all the way from the Levant to Britain.

Hawkes, Jacquetta, 1968. Dawn of the Gods. Chatto and Windus. 1: The Birth of Athena.

See for yourself

Minoan Civilisation – Wikipedia

Mycenaean Greece – Wikipedia

Mycenaean Civilisation – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gold rings from Crete and Myceneae – Gold Signet Rings of the Minoan and Mycenaean Worlds.

Jacquetta Hawkes – Wikipedia


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