This is the fourth in a series about imagined Minoan constellations. Since the discovery of Knossos by Arthur Evans in 1900, many sites have been discovered, including the exceptionally well-preserved city of Akrotiri on the island of Thera (now Santorini). However, the written record in Linear A is sparse and indecipherable. Academics have differing interpretations of the evidence. Some see kings and palaces, while others see priestesses and temples. These posts are historical fiction and in preparation for a novel set around 1500 BCE near the peak of the Minoan civilization.
This post concerns the constellations that rise with the sun during the Spring. Also included is the one additional constellation that first rises around the Spring equinox and is generally visible in the night sky during the Spring and Summer.
For the first Spring constellation (Taurus), I’ve chosen is the Spring flowers fresco from Akrotiri (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrotiri_(Santorini)). Akrotiri, like Pompeii about 1,500 years later, was well preserved under a thick layer of volcanic ash.
The next constellation (Gemini) is based on the Boxer fresco, also from Akrotiri. Even though the fresco shows long hair, I’ve imagined this as young initiates, who have shaved heads. The initiates play a larger role in the novel, so I honored them with a constellation.
The final Spring constellation (Cancer) is a triton a sculpture from the Archeological Museum of Agios Minolaos (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeological_Museum_of_Agios_Nikolaos). Living on an island, the Minoan were well acquainted with the sea and used many marine motifs in their art and pottery.
Finally, I have selected the Horns of Consecration (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horns_of_Consecration) for the constellation Orion which would have been visible during the Spring and Summer nights. I only used part of Orion, but kept his belt which is the most visible part. The Horns were displayed extensively throughout all Minoan sites, and connect back to the bull jumping rituals.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this imagining of the Minoan zodiac.