This is an online event.
Sponsored by: AIA-Central Arizona (Phoenix) Society
Animals played an important role in Cypriot religion and ritual. Many Cypriot deities were conceived as having animal parts or attributes, animal iconography was prevalent among votive offerings, and animal masks were worn in rituals at some sanctuaries. Perhaps the most dramatic and widespread way that humans interacted with animals, however, was through animal sacrifice. The ritual killing, processing, burning, and consuming of specially selected animals served as the primary means of communicating and reaffirming the reciprocal relationship between mortals and the divine in Mediterranean religions. This talk will discuss the complicated role that both real animals (those sacrificed and consumed) and imagined animals (those represented artistically) had in Cypriot religious spaces. The evidence suggests the holistic worldview of ancient Cypriots and finds that sanctuaries were charged spaces where humans negotiated their relationships with both the natural and divine worlds.