Minoan Art Essay

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The art of the Bronze Age Minoans are amongst some of the most sophisticated works of their time; complex metal work and pottery, fantastic figures and statuettes and beautiful frescoes all paint a picture of an advanced and sophisticated society that existed at the dawn of true civilisation. These pieces of art reveal to us the workings of Minoan religion, economy and trade, government and the role of men and women with in its society. These artworks are among the only reliable pieces of information we have about this once mighty society now lost to time. It is evident that men and women held equal social status, and perhaps women were held in higher regard than men. Women in positions of power are constantly depicted in Minoan art. In the Miniature Fresco , women are seated on either side of a structure, which has multiple Horns of Consecration on the roof. There are numerous heads and faces of people on either side of the structure. Because the women are depicted full bodily, it can be assumed that they were of importance, perhaps priestesses, royalty or even goddesses. Jacquetta Hawkes argues that the Minoan civilization may have been ruled by women. Hawkes noted that very little, if any evidence of a Minoan male ruler exists, whereas abundant evidence of such rulers existed among the Egyptians, Hittites and other contemporaries of the Minoans. Furthermore, images of strong and powerful women abound in Minoan art, where both men and women are shown provocatively and elegantly dressed and in some pictures seem to move on equal terms; whereas in Egyptian, Assyrian and classical Greek art, women, apart from goddesses, are never shown as the equals of males. Hawkes stated that "the absence of…manifestations of the all-powerful male ruler that are so widespread…in this stage of cultural development as to be almost universal, is one of the reasons for supposing that

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