Thursday, June 25, 2009
Photo: the Golden Ibex from Akrotiri, Santorini
This statue of a golden ibex was preserved in a container in a larger box in Akrotiri in the volcanic explosion some 3000 years ago that hastened the decline of Minoan civilization in Crete and Santorini. The statue demonstrates the remarkable artistry and technical abilities arrived at toward the end of the Minoan period, the sophistication of a women-led egalitarian civilization that celebrated life. The ibex is not native to the European Mediterranean or Aegean but to Africa and Eurasia. This statue thus suggests an interplay, through trade, of quite distant communities which may all have been egalitarian in comparison to the hierarchical warrior cultures which would triumph in later Hellas.
The ibex was found in 1999, incarnating and hinting at the treasures which are yet to be discovered in excavating Akrotiri. This photograph was taken by Paula Bard.