Skip to comments.Athenian 'Snake Goddess' Gets New Identity
Posted on 01/17/2013 8:11:31 PM PST by SunkenCiv
A mysterious "snake goddess" painted on terracotta and discovered in Athens may actually be Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest.
Once linked to the worship of the dead, the goddess is flanked by two snakes on a slab of terracotta about the size of a piece of notebook paper. She has her hands up above her head, which has given her the nickname "the touchdown goddess"... This unusual piece of art was found amid a jumble of gravel and other terracotta fragments in 1932 in what was once the Athenian agora, or public square.
The catch, however, is that the snake goddess isn't originally from the agora. The gravel and figurine fragments were fill material, brought in from an unknown second location to build a path or road in the seventh century B.C.
...said study researcher Michael Laughy of Washington and Lee University in Virginia. "She got mixed up in that road gravel, presumably obtained near the site of her original shrine."
...Along with the snake goddess plaque, the road fill contains small terracotta figurines, or votives, of humans, chariots, shields, loom weights, portions of spindles and pottery disks, most of which individually could fit in the palm of a hand. The terracotta figurines were used during this time period as offerings at the sanctuaries of gods and goddesses...
Tracing the source of this fill is a difficult task. Previously, archaeologists have assumed the figurines originated from the worship of the dead, linking the items found in Athens to ones found at a Bronze Age tomb outside the city. But the items at that tomb don't match all those found in the Athens agora, Laughy said.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
A mysterious "snake goddess" found in Athens is painted on a plaque with a molded face. CREDIT: Athenian Agora Excavations
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Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution.
Thanks , ‘Civ. Very interesting. I alway enjoyed Greek and Roman mythology in college. I had some great professors.
The touchdown goddess, eh? She might be one of Manti Teo’s girlfriends.
Hanging out with the wrong aggregate will do that to a snake goddess terracotta every time.
That’s what it looks like to me. Which would make her the afraid-of-snakes goddess.
I guess this time it didn’t have to be snakes.