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Artefact – Statue of a Bearded God

November 28, 2013

The Statue of a Bearded God was found in a sanctuary in Enkomi in 1963. This was not the same shrine as the  Statue of the “Horned God” that I have written about previously.

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It dates to the same period 12th century B.C. but is small in comparison to the Horned God standing at only 35 cm’s. The remains of votive offerings and animal sacrifices were found with the statue of the god indicating that it was quite an active place of religious worship.

During this period settlers from mainland Greece had begun to arrive on Cyprus. It is likely that this god was local to Enkomi as the attributes cannot be identified with any specific Olympian god; there appear to be elements suggestive of Zeus, Hephaestus or Ares. I do not believe the statue is a representation of a god similar to Zeus as the weapon is clearly a spear and dress and cap do not equate with Ares. The cap, dress and weaponry of a spear and shield would be more suggestive of Hephaestus as the weaponsmith of the gods. This would suggest to me that the sanctuary was dedicated to a god that was worshipped by people connected with metal work such as blacksmiths. During this period in Cyprus’ development there was a keen focus on mining and metalworking industries.

The skill in the development of working metals such as bronze is demonstrated in the quality of this piece. It is exceptionally well made and of a high quality. This is truly worthy of the god; who unfortunately remains unnamed.

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From → Artefacts

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