1988 年 31 巻 2 号 p. 34-54
In 1979 at Anemospilia in Archanes, north of Knossos, Y. Sakellarakis unearthed ruins of a rectangular temple which had been destroyed by earthquake in the Middle Minoan IIIA period (c. 1700 B. C.). The temple consists of three rooms and a corridor, where a pair of clay foot models in life size was found. The excavator indicated that the clay feet could have belonged to an anthropomorphic wooden cult image, xoanon. The hypothesis has supported strongly those views which insist on its existence in the period. The aim of this article is to proceed with a negative argument to the views, and to clarify the meaning of the clay foot models in the find-contexts.
To begin with, attentions should be paid to the following four facts. 1) Fourteen models so far discovered from seven sites in Crete and one in Kea are rarely found in pairs. 2) Usually they are found in non-shrine contexts and not in shrines of a palace or a country house. 3) They do not represent bare feet, but most likely some sort of footgears are painted on them. 4) Statues and figures in large scale existed certainly in the palatial periods in Minoan Crete. However, they should not be interpreted automatically as a xoanon. In fact, the fragments are always found in the context as a votive.
The above analysis leads to a conclusion that no archaeological evidence supports the view which maintains the existence of xoanon in the palatial periods. If it were so, what is the role of the fourteen clay foot models in the find-contexts?
It is evident that our models are not votives, since feet models dedicated to deities should be barefooted as we see in numerous examples from the Asklepieion in the classical Corinth. It is also agreed that ‘epiphany’ of deity was a central element in Minoan rituals in the palatial periods, since there existed no cult images. Pictorial representations of epiphanies include scenes where a small deity hovers in the air or descends before the worshippers. Such representations as these could imply a deity perceived by the worshippers, but invisible. Therefore, the clay foot models must symbolize the presence of such invisible deity in ritual, which could have taken place outdoors as shown on a gold ring from Isopata. Consequently The clay feet should not necessarily be found in shrines.