Saturday 11 April 2020

Painted eggs from Knossos

This is a fresco from a Minoan palace at Knossos, Crete dated to ca. 1700-1525/1500 B.C. It depicts two Chukar partridges during their mating ritual. On the ground around them are painted partridge eggs...

Chukar partridges are the the most common type of partridge in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is a beautiful picture of a mating pair from an amazing "Feathered Photography" blog by Ron Dudley 

Chukars mating season starts in February (beginning of spring) and lasts until May (end of spring). So in Bronze and Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean they were most likely seen as a symbol of spring. 

Female chukar partridges lay clutches of up to 15 eggs. 

Which is why chukar partridges were in Bronze and Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean probably also seen as s symbol of fertility...

That this symbolism of partridges could have existed in Bronze and Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean, can be seen from the fact that we have this symbolic link preserved in Serbian folklore until today. I talked about the link between partridges, spring and fertility in Serbian folklore in my post "Partridge". 

So did Minoans paint chukar eggs? In spring? As a fertility symbol?

No comments:

Post a Comment