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14 Aphrodite, Hephaistos and Ares: some thoughts on the origins of the mythical connection of the three gods in the metallurgy of Late Bronze Age Cyprus

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14 Aphrodite, Hephaistos and Ares: some thoughts on the origins of the mythical connection of the three gods in the metallurgy of Late Bronze Age Cyprus
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   14 Aphrodite, Hephaistos and Ares:some thoughts on the srcins of the mythicalconnection of the three gods in the metallurgyof Late Bronze Age Cyprus  Anna Kieburg   Abstract This paper will discuss the srcins of the unique connections between the gods Aphrodite,Hephaistos and Ares. Scholars have assigned these connections in Bronze Age Cyprus. Based upon archaeological evidence they identified a combined cult of an ancient mother goddess, influenced by contemporary Mediterranean societies, with a male companion. Both the goddess and the god were connected with the copper industry of ancient Cyprus and can be regarded as protection deities of metallurgy. But the aspects of fertility and war were included in the cult and rituals as well. It will be elaborated further on the relation between Bronze Age religion and metallurgy, concentrating on two of the major cities of this time with their cult centers, Enkomi and Kition, to provide evidence. In addition to these two archaeological sites, artefacts from all over the island will show not only how and why the three gods are assimilated into the Greek Pantheon but that over the course of thousands of years the entire development of the cults of Aphrodite, Hephaistos and Ares was influenced by Cyprus’  Mediterranean neighbours. Introduction For countless years tales and legendshave surrounded the mythical figure of the Olympian goddess Aphrodite.Most focus on her role as the goddessof beauty and love, not only thepassionate love known to the ancientsas ‘Eros’, but all types of Greek love.Pointedly, ancient Greek mythology speaks of her many lovers, both divineand human (Simon 1969: 229-254). All the more, one wonders why thisbeautiful, loving but on the contrary also warlike (Homer Hymnos 5, 10-11)goddess was married to ugly Hephaistos, god of smiths and earthenfires. Within Homer’s Odyssey (8, 267)it comes to us that she deceived herhusband and had a relationship with Ares, god of war. According to academic scholarship thefabled marriage of Aphrodite andHephaistos combined with herrelationship with Ares srcinates inancient Cyprus (Catling 1971: 18; cf.also Karageorghis 1972: 108-109;1976b: 75-76). Homer refers to Aphrodite as the “Mistress of Cyprus”and tells of her teaching metallurgy tocraftsmen (Hymnos 5, 2-13). And,indeed, archaeological discoveries haveborn evidence that a Great Goddess of Cyprus was a protection deity of metallurgy in the Late Bronze Age(Webb 1999: 298-302). It was widely     211 discussed by Knapp (1986) and recently by Kassianidou (2004) that together with a male divine companion sheguaranteed the richness of the islandcopper mines, and thus the economicprosperity of the island. Archaeological evidence for cult activity in the region dating back to theNeolithic period has been found,although specific cult ritual remainsshrouded to scholars. Distinctindications have been documented of acult dedicated to a Great Goddess,protector of fertility but also thegoddess of war and the underworld, agoddess comparable to neighboured Assyrian Ishtar. Notably, it is uncertain whether the cult was associated withcopper mining during the period of Early and Middle Bronze Ages, from2500 to 1600 BC (Fig. 1). At some stage in the Late Bronze Age,circa 1600 to 1050 BC, the significanceof the Great Goddess cult increased,during a period characterised by templebuilding and renovation. Theimportance of Cyprus as a copperproducing and exporting island during this period is undisputed (Muhly 1996,1999, 2003). For the first time,researchers are finding definite evidencefor the association between the GreatGoddess of Cyprus and metallurgy (Schaeffer 1971: 506-510). Likewise, within the same context, we now findevidence for a male companion deity,also comparable to Ishtar’s consort, Tammuz.But how would the temples of such adivine couple have appeared? And in what architectonic way did metallurgy become linked with this divine couple? As the biggest and most importantcities of the Middle and Late Bronze Age Cyprus and as two of the richest inarchaeological material, the sites of Enkomi and Kition in the southeast of the island shall be presented andillustrated. In all following templesacademic research strongly indicates worship of a divine pair and we can seea correlation between sacredarchitecture and metallurgical activities.Following this, the paper will expandupon the specific statuettes linking theLate Bronze Age gods and cults of Cyprus to the homeric fable of  Aphrodite, Hephaistos and Ares. Enkomi  Founded in the 17 th century BC,Enkomi is the first Cypriot urban centreconnected to metallurgy (Fig. 2). Thebuilding with which this paper isconcerned is a sanctuary, rebuilt about1200 BC by the Achaeans. Thisstructure is situated east of the North-South main street, in Quarter 5 East(Courtois 1971: 151-178; Schaeffer1948: 169; 1971: 506-510) (Fig. 3). A northern and a southern entrancegive access to the sanctuary. The widecourtyard was wholly or at least half covered; roof support foundationsconsisted of columns, as shown in themiddle of the plan. In the courtyard areremains of the hearth and altars. Along the western wall an opening leads to anauxiliary room, although it is not certainif it served as a storage room or asanctum. Most interestingly, a smallchamber is located in the northeast of the sacred site, identified with certainty as a sanctum because of the striking statue of the so-called “Ingot God”inside, which will be discussed later inthis paper (Schaeffer 1965) (Fig. 4.).Regarding the high amount of ingots,    212 moulds and slag it seems that in closeproximity of the sanctuary there areremains of several metallurgical workshops in the north and northwestof Quarter 4 and 5 East. The industry continues throughout the city and in thearea of the north wall where numerousmetallurgy workshops - the so-calledindustrial Quarter” - have been foundas proven by artefact assemblages(Dikaios 1969, Vol. I and II).Notably, within Enkomi we cannot findany obvious architectonic relationsbetween the sanctuary and the workshops; however, based on thecorrelation between the sanctuary andthe Ingot God, as well as the highamount of metallurgical workshops wecan presume that a cultic relationshipdid exist within this city. Kition   At Kition the sacred and workshopstructures have a quite differentappearance (Fig. 5). Abandoned at theend of the 13th century BC, Kition wasalso widely rebuilt by the Achaeansabout 1200 BC (Karageorghis 1976a:58). The area which is the main focusin this paper lies to the north of thetown (Excavation Area II) and isconnected with the city walls and islimited to a religious compoundconsisting of four structures, Temples1, 2, 4 and 5. These religious structuresare linked with metallurgical workshopsas the finds clearly show (Karageorghisand Demas 1985: 272).Each temple consists of a large,rectangular courtyard surrounded by carefully worked stone walls and a small cella  along the precinct’s narrow side. Within each courtyard, it is probablethat a portico would have occupied theperimeter of the open space, or at leastone side; in the central area are locatedseveral hearths and altars. Temples 1 and 2   The architectural complex of the Temples 1 and 2 shows two adjacentcourtyards, temenos  A and temenos  B (Fig.6). This architectural form supports thetheory that these are temples for the worship of two closely related gods,perhaps a female and a male deity. Temple 1 is directly connected with themetal workshops located on the site(Karageorghis 1976:72-76), whileimmediately adjacent to the temple is apassage leading to Room 12. Based onarchaeological artefacts it is apparentthat copper smelting took place here.Following to the right is a corridorleading to Rooms 13, 14 and 15, usedprimarily for the casting of copper intooxhide ingots for trade and storage.Such a close vicinity to the templescould suggest that the copper trade wasunder the immediate control of thetemple priests. Temple 4  Temple 4 is oriented along the city walls(Fig. 7). It consists of two cellae  in thesoutheast, again indicating the strong possibility of worship of a divine pair.In front of the cellae  we see two stonebases. Similar to Canaanite temples onebase held a stone pillar, the other a wooden pillar. In Canaanite religionthese pillars represented the images of adivine couple to which a religious site was dedicated and it is not impossibleto suggest the same may have occurredat Kition (Karageorghis 1976: 79).      213 Temple 5   Temple 5 has almost the sameorientation as Temple 4; they are only divided by a narrow street (Fig. 8). Butin Temple 5 only one cella  lies to thenorthwest. In this Temple the highamount of stone anchors is the maincharacteristic. As in the preceding temples they were used as thresholds, wall stones and column bases during aphase of rebuilding (Fig. 9). But here,unusually, the same stone anchors wereleaned against the altar (Fig. 10)comparable to the old Ugaritic custom where Syrian coastal sailors dedicatedstone anchors to the god Baal(Karageorghis 1975: 401-403). Additionally, many bull skulls wereplaced in front of the cella  . Both thestone anchors and the skulls couldidentify this temple as being dedicatedto a male deity. Therefore, it is quite clear that Kition was a religious centre with a female anda male deity worshipped in conjunction with and in close relation to the practiceof metallurgy (Karageorghis and Demas1985: 253-254). Additionally, Temples4 and 5 present strong Orientalinfluences – in architecture as well as inrituals. Sacred Statuettes Clearly, Enkomi and Kition provideexamples of the most importantreligious architectural complexes inrelation with metallurgy. Additionally the wealth of statuettes srcinating fromacross Cyprus indicate a connectionbetween the Cypriot gods and theaspects of fertility, metallurgy and waras attributes of the initially mentionedGreek deities Aphrodite, Hephaistosand Ares. Female statuettes   The attribute of female fertility as weknow it so well from the goddess Aphrodite is strongly represented interracotta statuettes. Hundreds of smallfemale votive figurines from thesanctuary of the Ingot God in Enkomisignify the worship of a femalecounterpart to the Ingot God statutette,forming a divine couple and indicating aspatial relationship between two deities(Courtois 1971: 330-332, 334-335, 340; Webb 1999: 112-113). Many suchfigurines were discovered upon thefloor of the west room, on the westbench and within the western courtyard(Fig. 11), demonstrating that thisimmediate area was reserved for the worship of a goddess. We can regardtherefore the western room as a secondsanctum in this sanctuary.Cypriot female bronze statuettes of the12 th century BC provide furtherevidence for the interpretation of such adivine couple. One of the mostinteresting examples might be thestatuette of unknown srcin, the so-called Ingot-Goddess, that today can beseen in the Ashmolean Museum inOxford (Fig. 12). She comes from aprivate collection and was thought to beof Syrian srcin. But because of hericonography, and especially because thefigure stands on an ingot, Catling hasargued for her to be Cypriot (1971: 15-32). The female figurine is naked, her hair isdivided into two long and two shortbraids, of which one is broken off.Both arms are lacking. Round her neck she wears three closely fitting bands anda long necklace with a charm or seal, which she significantly clasps over herbelly. She stands on a copper ingot,    214 indicating her status as counterpart tothe Ingot God from Enkomi; she wasthe one that 'The copper workerslooked up to ensure the fruitfulness of the mines and even more of thesmelting furnaces and the processes by  which the raw copper was produced'(Catling 1971: 30; cf. also J.Karageorghis 1977: 104-105). 'In alllikelihood she is the same goddess who was later to become the Paphian Aphrodite. In her Bronze Agemanifestation she was doubtless agoddess of fecundity' (Catling 1971: 29). The most interesting comparison to the Ashmolean Ingot goddess is a statuetteof certain Cypriot srcin (Fig. 13).Discovered in the vicinity of Nicosia,this statuette resembles the Ingotfigurine in many details (Dikaios 1936;Catling 1971: 20-22). Both statuettesshare this form of face with stick-outears. They both have the same hair. Asdistinguishing mark of their sex we cansee for both a carved triangle. And atlast they both wear a chain that is falling between their breasts. At its end thereis an object interpreted as a seal (Catling 1971: 16). Markedly, her appearancetestifies the Cypriot srcin of the Ingotgoddess. A further statuette comes from thenecropolis of Teratsoudhia, tomb 104,chamber K, near Paleopaphos(Karageorghis 1990: 59-61), (Fig. 14). This female bronze figurine is about 10cm high and marks the transition of theLate Bronze Age to Early Iron Age.She, too, is of very similar shape as thetwo previously described figurines. Butthe Paleopaphos figurine is perhaps of slightly better quality than the othertwo. The pubic hair, for example, isshown by circles in relief and not by simple groves. The main difference isthe position of the arms. She is ratherof the ‘Astarte-type’ with the handtouching the breasts, or even pressing them, showing the same attitude asseveral terracotta statuettes of the sameperiod.Regrettably, the bases of the Nicosiaand Teratsoudhia statuettes are missing,although it would not be inappropriateto suggest that these bases may havebeen an oxhide ingot, too. This isespecially probable for the Paphianfigurine, because the Bronze Agesanctuary in Paleapaphos could havebeen linked to copper workshops, too.Near the Bronze Age sanctuary I thereare some find assemblages of slag. SoMaier assumed that also in Paleapaphosthe copper industry could have beenlinked to the temple. He mentions, too,that the legendary founder of thesanctuary of Aphrodite in Paleapaphos,king Kinyras, was also regarded to bethe inventor of metallurgy (1976: 235). The necklace with the seal at the end worn by all the Ingot, Nikosia and Teratsoudhia statuettes must be asignificant attribute of the femalegoddesses (On the srcin of thosenecklaces see Karageorghis 1977: 105).Possibly, this may be a precursor of the κεστος ιμας , the magic belt that Aphrodite took from her breastsaccording to Homers Illiad Book 14,line 214 (Karageorghis 1990: 59).  Male statuettes   The metallurgical and the martial aspectas we see them in greek mythology inthe gods Hephaistos and Ares arecombined in the armed Ingot-Godfrom Enkomi (Fig. 15), which wasfound in 1963 during the sixteenthcampaign of excavation at Enkomi
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