MORE ON DEITIES WORSHIPPED BY THE TALAYOTIC SOCIETY

On a previous post we talked about deities which were worshipped by the talayotics, such as a warlike deity known as Mars Balearicus (as several finds located in talayotic settlements indicate) and the famous case of the Egyptian statuette of god Imhotep. 
 
Mars balearicus from Son Favar, Mallorca. On display in
Museu de Mallorca.
However, this society worshipped to other gods and goddesses too, such as the bull and a feminine deity, possibly related to the cult of fertility. 
 
As in many other Mediterranean cultures, the talayotics worshipped to the bull, as can be inferred by some bronze bull statuettes and bronze horns of bull found in several sanctuaries. In fact some scholars in the past suggested that the T-shaped taula monuments in the central part of Minorcan sanctuaries were schematic representations of this animal. However, current opinions consider that this theory lacks further evidence.

Punic incense burner of goddess Tanit, found in a
talayotic sanctuary in Menorca.  The piece is on
display 
in Museu de Menorca
Bronze statuette of a bull found in a talayotic sanctuary.
The piece is on display in Museu de Menorca.
 
Other deity worshipped by the talayotics would have been related to the fertility cult, like a mother-earth goddess type, which makes sense if we bear in mind that the talayotics belonged to an agrarian society that highly depended on the good conditions of the land to obtain good crops for their subsistence. In relation to this cult, it is important to highlight the location of several statuettes representing goddess Tanit in sanctuaries, which was a cult introduced to Menorca by the Punics. 
Tanit was the main goddess in the Carthaginian pantheon from the 5th century BC onwards and was related to the cult of fertility as a mother goddess.  This shows how as soon as contacts with foreign peoples were established, the talayotic culture was influenced by them in many aspects, including their beliefs.
 We cannot forget about some Egyptian statuettes, such as one representing Imhotep and another depicting god Horus, which were found in talayotic sanctuaries as well. The fact of having been located in religious spaces indicates that these artifacts were considered to be highly relevant to the members of this society.
 
Egyptian statuette of Imhotep, found in a talayotic sanctuary in Menorca.
The piece is on display in Museu de Menorca.
 
By carrying out fieldwork in the Iron Age sanctuary of Sa Cudia Cremada, the field school aims at exploring this society’s religiousness and many other aspects such as contacts with foreign cultures. Don’t miss this opportunity in join us in our summer fieldwork courses!
 
Picture 1: Bronze Mars Balearicus which is on display in Museu de Mallorca.
Picture 2: Bronze bull statuette, which is on display in Museu de Menorca (the archaeological museum of Menorca, Mahón).
Picture 3: Terracota statuette of Punic goddess Tanit, which on display in Museu de Menorca
Picture 4: Bronze statuette of Imhotep, also in display in Museu de Menorca.
 All pictures are taken from http://ceres.mcu.es/pages/Main except the Imhotep image, which was taken by researcher Irene Riudavets. 

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