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Minoan scholars have attributed several ritual roles to plants (i.e. acting as focal points of worship, inducing ecstatic behavior, serving as sacrificial offerings, and facilitating ritual feasts) based on the study of archaeological artifacts, such as glyptic imagery, ceramic remains and faunal material.  Actual plant remains, however, have rarely been considered. This paper addresses the role of plants in Minoan cult practice from an archaeobotanical perspective, examining plant material recovered from key sites/contexts within the ritual landscape of Bronze Age Crete, namely peak sanctuaries, shrines, and cemeteries. The results provide new insights into the use of plants in Minoan ritual activity and, at the same time, indirectly test the already conceived ritual role of plants as inferred from other material evidence.

Wednesday, April 24, 12:00 pm ET (noon),7 pm in Greece, Zoom format
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