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The history of art goes back a long time and many artifacts present as archeological evidence

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Artwork

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The history of art goes back a long time and many artifacts present as archeological evidence. The artwork discussed in this essay illuminates a lot about the Minoan culture. Minoan or Mycenaean art existed during the Bronze Age. Excavations point the artwork to around nine Minoan civilization periods on Crete. Cities during this historical time were centrally located and contained courts, which could have been apartments, administrative offices, rooms, or passageways to connect the Minoans. Much of this archeological work is credited to Sir Arthur Evans, who documented stylized bulls, bull leaping images, and horns of consecration relating them to Minoans (Fitz Museum 1). Today, there is still scanty knowledge on the Minoans as much of the facts are dependent on excavations and hieroglyphs that are elusively understood. This paper describes two artifacts from the Minoan period elaborating their histories and comparisons.

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Petsofas Figurine

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Petsofas refers an archaeological location of a peak sanctuary for the Minoans. This site is located in Palekastro, which is found in Eastern Crete’s Sitia region. While the site contains several animal and human figurines, some petsofas figurines are of tortoises and weasels. Other cylinder seals of petsophas bear figures that resemble male figures excavated from Knossos Minoan site. Archeologists have discovered various petsofas including those that resemble stone lamps, ceramic models, and ceramic altars (Honour and Fleming 63).

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This particular petsofas figurine, designed in 2000B.C, is one of the many figurines that portray votive offerings given to the mountain deity. This figurine, just like many others, exhibits a limited number of gestures that are stereotypical that signify respect, worship, supplication, or self-containment. These views seem to fall prey to contemporary conventions of functions and purposes of religion. Archeologists have also interpreted this figurine as a tool used to heal the Minoans from afflictions and illnesses mostly because of the signs of deformation illustrated on the limbs (Honour and Fleming 154).

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Psi-figurine (Ψ-figurine)

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This figurine is one of the many found in the Mycenaean period (1400 – 1050 BC). The figurines bear the form of the twenty-third letter of the ancient alphabet of the Greek people. This trident form of the humanoid statues appears as though it is a person lifting arms in praise (Schofield 159). Their names, PSI and PHI, emanate from their shape, which is similar to the Greek alphabets. Archaeologists have since interpreted these figurines as to signify worshiping of a deity. In addition to that, the figurines also stood as symbols of fertility, nature, and protector of sacred areas (Metropolitan Museum 1).

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Similarities and Contrasts

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The two figurines are similar in various ways. They both represent or signify beliefs in a deity during the Minoan and Mycenaean’s times. On the one hand, the Petsofas was key in votive offerings given to the mountain deity. On the other hand, the Psi-figurine bears the shape similar to that of a person praising a deity. Contemporary interpretations of both figurines suggest the possibility of the existence of religion during the Minoan and Mycenaean era.

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Although the figurines present various similarities, they also have marked differences. While the petsofas figurine portrays an imperfect or a deformed figure of a human, the Psi-figurine has the form of a man in praise. Besides that, the petsofas figurine served as a healing figurine while the Psi-figurine served as a symbol of fertility and nature. The two figurines symbolize a way of life of the Minoans and the Mycenaean eras.

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Works Cited

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Fitz Museum. ‘Early Greek world3200-450 BC’. Text. N. p., 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

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Honour, Hugh, and John Fleming. A World History of Art. Laurence King Publishing, 2005. Print.

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Metropolitan Museum. ‘Three Female Figures [Mycenaean]’. N. p., 2013. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.

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Schofield, Louise. The Mycenaeans. Getty Publications, 2007. Print.

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