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Minoan bee pendant
Ancient original as photographed in the Heraklion Museum
2005


This is a custom order item
Contact Annie using the phone number below to order from this website
707-459-2418  and email:
orders@ancientcircles.com

Minoan Bee Pendants

Wear the MINOAN BEE PENDANT to bring positive bee thoughts and images to all of those you contact. The discussion of the "bee disappearances" may bring a new level of consciousness to al of us of hte importance of these hard working little creatures - our
planet's pollinators, our sweet honey makers. (Read more details below)

THIS UNUSUAL HONEY of a PENDANT JUST GOT EVEN SWEETER…
HOLIDAY BEE LOVERS SALE!
GREAT FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS & LOVERS ANYTIME

Minoan Bee Pendant - Sterling
Minoan Bee Pendant - Sterling with amber
Minoan Bee Pendant - 22 k gold plate Minoan Bee Pendant - 22 k gold plate

# PBS $48
MINOAN BEE PENDANT
Sterling Silver (1 3/8" wide)
(click image for detail)

# PBSS $68
MINOAN BEE PENDANT
Sterling Silver with Amber drops
(1 3/8" wide)
(click image for detail)

# PBB Price $22.00
MINOAN BEE PENDANT
Cast Bronze Antique
(1 3/8" wide)

# PBG Price $34.00
MINOAN BEE PENDANT
Cast Bronze Reproduction
with 22kt heavy Gold Plate
(1 3/8" wide)
Out of Stock

Minoan Bee Pendant History

The famous MINOAN SACRED BEE PENDANT was found in the Old Palace cemetery at Chrysolakkos, outside the palace of Malia, the third largest Minoan palace on the island of Crete, in Greece.

The MINOAN BEE PENDANT dates back to the Bronze Age, to the Protopalatial Period (1800 -1700 BC) and it’s a wonderful, very detailed representation of two bees. Are they carrying a drop of honey or pollen back to their colony or celebrating on the honeycomb? Are they eating pollen together in an intimate ritual or "bee dance"?

The original MINOAN BEE PENDANT is perhaps an example of the height of the metal-smith's mastery of an ancient era - mastery in the process of granulation or faience, during which - tiny beads are adhered to the surface of the background metal.

It is one of the most famous exhibits in the Heraklion Museum.

Ancient Circles is bringing you this wonderful ancient design in our modern reproduction as exactly to the original as possible (we designed the bronze version for authentic color and feel) The silver is sterling, I love the weight of it!

History of Bee Worship

Since at least the times when humans scratched on rocks to create images, the bee and the beehive have played central roles in human spiritual interest and worship. Bees and honey are present in the creation myths, cosmologies and sacred places of many diverse ancient cultures. African, Australian, South American, European, and Hindu-Indian creation myths and sacred stories feature the bee as a symbol of reverence. Archaeological evidence from almost every corner of the world demonstrates this. Bees and the hive life were powerful symbols of community, continuance, regeneration and a connection to the otherworld for our ancestors. As the source of honey, they also represented sweetness, healing and magic.

Many scholars believe early cultures of the Mediterranean region worshiped a mother goddess. These cultures offer us our earliest archaeological evidence of organized apiculture centers. Central religious themes of these regions often depict the bull, the bee and goddess imagery. This triad of themes is believed to have centered around concepts of birth, death and rebirth; the ultimate mysteries of our human lives and those of the natural world around us, regardless of our time in human history. The works of Marija Gimbutas are a rich source for these interpretations.

Minoan culture, of the Neolithic period around Crete, depicted some of it’s many goddess images with bee-like stripes, wings and antennae. Apiculture was a prominent part of the Minoan culture, and bee- hives and other bee images feature prominently in it’s engraved imagery. Later Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures inherited these patterns and beliefs and transmuted them into their own later myths and legends.

Honey and the bee were also prominent in the cosmology of the early Egyptians. They were principles of the Egyptian diet, medicine and ritual magic. The typical black and gold striping and winged insect imagery seen on many Egyptian god and goddess figures, sarcophagi and other engraved imagery also referenced the bee. The Egyptian Sun God, Ra, cried tears that became bees that then created honey in the world. The Egyptian God, Apis, took the form of a Sacred Bull. The Latin name for our modern day honey-bee is Apis Mellifera. King Menes of Egypt was referred to as ‘The Beekeeper’ and his domain in Lower Egypt was known as the ‘Place of the Bee’. The Great Mother Goddess Neith, was worshiped at Sais and her temple was called ‘The House of the Bee’.

Some of my favorite bee lore is found in Greek and Roman mythology. Before Dionysus was torn to pieces and returned as a bee, he was in the form of a bull. His worshipers, called Maenad’s, were often depicted as frenziedly dancing females with wings. It’s now believed early Greek and Roman cultures actually drank mead as their chosen beverage, probably what’s now called pyment, a honey wine made with grapes. Pan, the Greek God commonly associated with the wild and sexuality, was also the God of Beekeeping.

The most important oracular site of ancient Greece, Delphi, was said to have been constructed by bees. The oracle of the temple itself was an object called an Omphalos, a carved stone, shaped like a beehive, and covered in bee-like images linked in a beautiful pattern. Phythia, the chief priestess at Delphi, was called ‘The Delphic Bee’. Priestesses of Greece were called Queen Bees. It was believed they entered states of spiritual trance that involved the use of honey.

The bee was one of it’s central mythic creatures and as such was considered sacred. Bees could not be bought or sold, because of their revered status, and this practice is still a tradition in parts of rural Lithuania today. In medieval times families were known to leave their homes to follow local bees when they swarmed, relocating where the bees established their new hive. Once this happened, the family of human followers were believed to have earned a special grace and protection that could never be taken away from them, or their offspring, that also made them related to other humans that shared this form of bee-blessing in a sacred form of kinship.

Interestingly, Lithuania is also known to have the longest living path of Pagan worship, called Romuva. As one of the last western countries to experience the spread and acceptance of Christianity, it’s folk traditions remained uniquely intact and were never completely wiped out. Austeja is their bee goddess. It’s also one of the most popular names given to Lithuanian girls today. If I’m ever able to get there, I look forward to visiting the ‘Lithuanian Museum of Ancient Beekeeping’.

There, one can see examples of the intricately carved logs traditionally used for hives by beekeepers deep in the forest. Some of these logs represented gods and goddesses and elemental forest spirits. Others logs were left in a more natural state and were chosen because of the power of a particular tree in it’s place in the forest, and the belief that it would go on to bless the bees within it and bring it’s good ju-ju to all that resided near it’s place. Movements are underway today to bring back this form of log beekeeping and it’s currently being practiced again.

Palace of Malia

The palace found at Malia is the third largest palace of Minoan Crete after Knossos and Phaistos. It occupies 7500 square meters at the edge of a fertile valley near Hersonissos in Northern Crete. The palace's proximity to the sea was obviously important in the development of the site into a cultural hub for its ancient inhabitants. It was first built around 1900 BC, a time of feverish development for the entire island population. It subsequently followed the same cycle as the other palaces of the time, and it was destroyed by unknown reasons around 1650 before it was immediately rebuilt.

The ruins at the site today reflect this second rebirth of the palace on the ruins of the old one, and the excavations which persist to our day reveal a place of significant economic and political activity which lasted until its final destruction by fire in 1450 BC. The architecture of this Neopalatial palace roughly follows the plan originally laid by the destroyed palace. A large central court yard is surrounded by storage rooms to the east, the theater and several crypts and corridors to the West, and the main entrance to the south. Along the lines with other Minoan palaces, there is a smaller courtyard to the west where modern visitors normally enter the ruins, adjacent to the eight circular granaries.

Some links:

http://ancient-greece.org/archaeology/malia.html

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ancient+beekeeping+history&t=ffsb&iax=1&ia=images

http://www.culturetaste.com/Minoan-Malia-Bees-History-and-Meaning-68.html

Read Save the Bees at ECOSEEK.NET

Our Sustainability Pledge:
10% of profits is donated to the Mendocino County Beekeepers Guild - who are promoting local beekeeping, developing local honey resources and also developing mite resistant strains of bees for our area. We encourage everyone to bee a helper...keep hives and develop local support networks, and also discover and share Organic methods of maintaining hive health! Write me with your ideas at - info@ancientcircles.com


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All Rights Reserved © 1996 Ann W. Weller
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Ann B. Waters, Proprietor, Ancient Circles.