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Asherah

asherah

A Minoan goddess flanked by griffins?  No.  Actually, this fragment represents Asherah, a Canaanite goddess, flanked by goats, and comes from a later period.

However, it is thought that some Minoan refugees settled in Canaan after the end of the Bronze Age, and were major influencers of the Phillistine culture.  The name "Asherah" appears in Linear B on Knossian documents as a-sa-sa-ra; some experts believe she may have been the ubiquitous Minoan Snake Goddess.

Here is another Canaanite goddess with possible Minoan links:

beegoddess

Melissa, the bee goddess.  While the iconography isn't as strikingly straightforward as the Asherah plaque above, I am reminded that in one famous Aegean gold seal, the women (priestesses?) and goddess are represented with the heads of bees.

minoandance

I am reminded, too, that the Minoans had closer economic and cultural ties with Canaan and Anatolia than with Greece, so the iconography went both ways, as seen in these preserved Aegean fresco fragments from Tel Kabri, Israel:

minoan-frescoes-1-260x227

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