Journal article

Dropping Ecstasy? Minoan Cult and the Tropes of Shamanism

Caroline J Tully, Sam Crooks

Time and Mind: the journal of archaeology, consciousness and culture | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2015


Cult scenes illustrated in miniature on administrative stone seals and metal signet rings from Late Bronze Age Minoan Crete are commonly interpreted as “Epiphany Scenes” and have been called “shamanic”. “Universal shamanism” is a catch-all anthropological term coined to describe certain inferred ritual behaviors across widely dispersed cultures and through time. This study re-examines evidence for Minoan cultic practices in light of key tropes of “universal shamanism”, including consumption of psychoactive drugs, adoption of special body postures, trance, spirit possession, communication with supernatural beings, metamorphosis, and the journey to other-worlds. It is argued that while existin..

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