Journal article

Cockles, Mussels, Fishing Nets, and Finery: The Relationship between Cult, Textiles, and the Sea Depicted on a Minoan-Style Gold Ring from Pylos

Caroline Tully

Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies | Penn State University Press | Published : 2020


The Griffin Warrior Ring No. 2 is a gold Minoan-style engraved signet ring from Pylos dating to the Late Helladic IIA (1580–1490 BCE). The ring’s bezel depicts a seascape with a columnar tree shrine flanked by palm trees situated on a rocky outcrop. Five elaborately dressed female figures stand on either side of the shrine. The tree shrine features a net pattern in the space between its stone or brick piers. I argue that this represents a fishing net and that the structure is a sea altar dedicated to an unnamed Minoan tree deity. The ring’s hoop is decorated with cockleshells, further emphasizing its marine theme. I propose that the iconography alludes to marine food resources, practical and..

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