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Document Details :
Title: Into the Labyrinth
Subtitle: Research Methods and the Study of Minoan Iconography
Author(s): CHAPIN, Anne P.
Volume: 22 Issue: 1 Date: 2016
Even after a century of focused investigation, Minoan iconography presents numerous challenges to scholarship. Lacking literary and historical sources, the subjects of this strikingly naturalistic and graceful art form remain persistently anonymous. Divine beings cannot be reliably distinguished from humans playing priestly roles, and only a few mythical monsters can be recognized from one composition to another. Academic literature on the topic is abundant, yet consensus on even the most important points of identification (e.g., the ‘Great Goddess’ problem) is lacking. This essay investigates the methodological problems confronting the study of Minoan iconography, reviews current approaches to the subject, and suggests directions for future research.