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This paper argues that bull-leaping was not an intentional act of human sacrifice, but rather a highly prestigious, overtly religious ritual undertaken by the Minoan elite. It describes bull-leaping as depicted in archaeological evidence, explores to what extent the practice could have resembled the artistic depictions of the act and analyses the danger and possibility of performing such a feat. The paper also considers the controversial evidence of "human sacrifice" at the Anemospilia temple; looks at the other violent sports practiced by the Minoans; emphasises the religious significance of bull-leaping and discusses the necessary skill of the bull-leapers themselves.
From the Paper:"That the Minoans practised human sacrifice was a possibility introduced following the grisly findings at the Anemospilia temple. Inside the temple ruins was, as Castleden1 (1990, 168-73) describes, the remains of a young man, with his legs tightly folded up, upon what appears to have been a sacrificial table. A long bronze blade was found beside him. The excavators, Y. Sakellarakis and E. Sapouna-Sakellaraki, proposed that the youth was sacrificed in order to avert the impending earthquake which destroyed the temple. Castleden not only maintains that human sacrifice was performed in this instance, he insists that it would have been an integral religious practise - enacted on many more occasions. He pushes the concept of the Minoans hidden 'shadow side' - mentioning several other examples."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Castleden, R. 1990 Minoans, Routledge, London
- Castleden, R. 1990 The Knossos Labyrinth, Routledge, London
- Evans, A. 1964 The Palace of Minos, Biblo and Tannen, New York
- Graham, J.W. 1957 The Central Court as the Minoan Bull-Ring, American Journal of Archaeology, 61, 255-62
- Hood, S. 1971 The Minoans, Thames and Hudson, London
Cite this Term Paper:
Minoan Bull-Leaping (2007, September 02) Retrieved January 28, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/minoan-bull-leaping-97803/
"Minoan Bull-Leaping" 02 September 2007. Web. 28 January. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/minoan-bull-leaping-97803/>