On Crete in the tomb found the head of a bull, sacrificed 4000 years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — In a crypt in the cemetery of the ancient Minoan palace of Petras in eastern Crete, scientists have discovered the skull of a bull.

A find dated between 1920 and 1750. BC, became the oldest evidence of bull sacrifice found in a Minoan tomb, according to the Greek Reporter.

It should be noted that the attitude of the Minoans towards bulls was special, largely due to the legend of the Minotaur in the labyrinth of the Palace of Knossos and the ubiquity of the bull in Minoan art.

The ruins of a palace and a nearby urban settlement have been found on the western hill. On the eastern hill, the remains of two settlements of different periods (3400-2900 BC and XIV-XII centuries BC) have been preserved.

The cemetery was discovered during excavations on the eastern hill in 2004. Intended for the nobility, it was in continuous use from 2800 B.C.

Before 1750 BC It should be especially noted that robbers did not get here, and therefore all the finds appeared before scientists in their original form.

The cemetery consists of 26 large burial structures, which were used more as bone stores than primary burial sites. Funeral buildings have a complex layout, each of them has up to 14 rooms.

In the tombs, scientists found a large amount of funerary and ritual furniture, as well as earthenware and jugs made of stone, jewelry, bronze and stone tools. Some rooms were used to store vessels used in burial rituals.

It is the largest cemetery of the Minoan pre-palace (3500-1900 BC) and proto-palace (1900-1750 BC) periods, and its long use and pristine condition make it a unique source of information about Minoan religion and culture.

The skull of a bull was found on the earthen floor of one of the tombs.

“We did not find any other animal bones here. Obviously, the sacrifice was made in a different place,” says archaeologist Metaxia Tzipopoulou, who specializes in the Minoan civilization.

A bowl, three wide-mouthed jugs and a lamp were found next to the skull. Vessels were scattered throughout the room.

Scientists emphasize that all the finds were clearly used in funeral rituals, since the Minoan inhabitants, like the bearers of many other world cultures, shared ritual and household items.

And everything related to death never returned to the settlements of living people. Usually, such items were broken and buried with the dead or simply left on the territory of the cemetery.

“We do not know what prompted this family to sacrifice an extremely valuable animal.

But perhaps this happened after a strong earthquake, a pandemic or a dangerous natural phenomenon such as a tsunami, because the bulls in mythology were also associated with the sea, ”the archaeologist believes.

Researchers who examined the skull in the lab found that the bull had had its tongue removed before it died. And after being sacrificed, his lower jaw was broken.

Most likely, the tongue, which was considered a delicacy, was eaten, as possible, and all the rest of the meat.

Also, thanks to the study, scientists found that the bull was domestic and at the time of death he was about five years old.


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