Bristol and Avon Archaeological Society

Arthur Evans and the Tree Cult of Minoan Crete

On Wednesday November 9, 2022
Jack Fuller, University of Bristol and Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

In 1900 Arthur Evans began his excavations at the site of Knossos on Crete. The discoveries encouraged Evans to exhibit “Minoan” Crete as a modern European civilization of artistic, successful traders, who were ruled by Priest Kings and presided over by a Mother Goddess. Using the objects he excavated, part of Evans’s vision identified the presence of Tree Worship in Minoan iconography. This talk will introduce the objects and discoveries that led to Evans’s understanding of a tree cult present in Minoan Crete. It will also highlight how his ideas were significantly influenced by the work of folklorists, anthropologists, classicists, and other archaeologists, leading us to question what we can actually know about Bronze Age tree worship on Crete.