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Artefact – Statue of the “Horned God”

October 24, 2013

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Tonight is a brief post as I am finishing up my study of Phaedra. This fantastic artefact is referred to as the “Horned God”. The statue dates to the twelfth century BC, is made of bronze and was found at Enkomi, Cyprus. The statue is very small measuring 55 cm high and was found during excavations undertaken in 1963.

It is believed that this is a cult statue as it was discovered in a shrine with the remains of sacrifices. In amongst the sacrifices were bull skulls which it is thought the priests who performed the rites wore.

The god could be identified with Apollo as it is young and athletic. Given that it is a young god one of his attributes was likely related to fertility. Apollo was first worshiped on the island as god of the herdsmen; note that the statue wears a horned cap. Cult statues such as this provide information for the developmental stages of religious practices following the arrival of settlers. Cypriot Archaeologists through the use of epigraphic evidence from Tamassos and Pyla have linked this cult statue with the Apollo of Alashiya and the Horned Apollo (Karageorghis, 1989).

Bibliography

Karageorghis, V. The Cyprus Museum Nicosia Epiphaniou Publications: Nicosia, 1989.

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