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Clay horns of consecration

Restored on parts of the central shaft and handle rings
Height: 18.5 cm.Length of base: 22 cm.Width of base: 6.5 cm.
Agios Antonios rock shelter
Late Minoan IIIC - Protogeometric period:
1200-970 BC:
Exhibition thematic unit:
Geometric - Archaic - Classical period (10th - 4th c. BC). The Sanctuaries. From Minoan cult to the amalgamation of religious beliefs
Sacred Caves
Clay horns of consecration. The horns are hollow and have vent holes at various points, to prevent the vessel from breaking when it was fired in the kiln. In the centre is a solid cylindrical shaft with four rings on its surface, which served as handles for lifting and carrying the vessel. Horns of consecration are a diachronic Minoan ritual symbol found in many different forms of art, including architecture, vase-painting and metalwork. They were particularly popular during the Neopalatial period, while in later Postpalatial times, to which the horns shown here are dated, they begin to grow smaller, losing their original grandeur. The Postpalatial period appears to have been one of the most important periods of worship in the sanctuary in the rock shelter of Patsos. Various objects of exceptional quality (like these horns), from different parts of the island, date from this time.
Zervos C., L'art de la Crete Neolithique et Minoenne, Paris, 1956, pl. 724. Halbherr F., Scoperte nel Santuario di Hermes Craneo, Museo Italiano di Antichità II, Firenze 1888, 915-916, no.1, pl. XIV. Rutkowski Β., The Cult Places of the Aegean, New Haven and London, 1986, 59, fig. 61. Kourou N. - Karetsou A. (eds), “Το Ιερό του Ερμού Κραναίου στην Πατσό Αμαρίου”, in Rocchetti L. (ed.), Sybrita la valle di Amari fra bronzo e ferro, Roma, 1994, 114-115, fig. 85-87.
S. P.

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