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The vase you're all lusting after is Minoan dating to the last fifty years of their civilization following the massive Santorini eruption when the island of Thera was destroyed. This island boasted imported Asian elephants (as beasts of burden), high-level astronomy (and other sciences), and was the economic center of Minoan civilization - and frankly - all civilization in the Eastern Med. - it was the Western terminus for the Silk Road. Probably at the time one of the World's first and foremost trading centers. The entire globe-trotting civilization was given to bull-worship, as evidenced by the stories of King Minos and his Minotaur in his maze to the South in Crete.
Anyway, Minoan civilization was destroyed by the destruction of Santorini in a masive, Krakatoa-level event. Blasts, pyroclastic flows, ridiculously-huge tsunamis, massive dust clouds blotting-out the Sun in the Eastern Meditterenean for weeks on end (ala Mt. St. Helens), blah, blah, blah - some scholars, noting that this dates to the plagues visited upon Egypt in the Book of Exodus, suggest that this was responisble for all of it (the Lord working in mysterious ways and all), including the parting of the waters ahead of Moses and the Isrealites as the gigantic tsunami approached (this happened when the spent shell of the volcano finally collapsed in upon itself, a year after the initial blasts.). Who ultimately knows?
At any rate, in the five decades following their apocalypse, all of a sudden their ceremonial art stops giving a damn about bull-worship and becomes octopus-obsessed - although one famous bit of amphorae features an octopus-cum-bull. Octopus turn up everywhere once their civilization was in decline, along with Phoenician practices of infant-sacrifice to the Eastern Med. God Baal, or Bael, or Moloch, or Melech, depending upon which seafaring Mediterranean, Canaanite-derived society you hosted. Those guys got everywhere.
Personally, I feel that the dying Minoans turned to octopus-veneration after the catastrophe because they finally came to know Cthulhu, but that's just me. I do work that into sermons, however.
Anyway, I love that vase. With a passion. Might send my henchman to steal it to furnish my underground hideout. It'll go great with the new Munch I purchased. It's a real scream.
Thanks for the vase link there Mizu, a fascinating find.
You might like to read this old thread as we found a few of these, and some other antiquities that might be of interest. I'm afraid some of the images are now gone, but the links should still be working:
I bid you find this stuff out the same way I find out eveything: 'cause it's cool to know. This is why I'm not a doctored and lettered scholar, but just a peripherally-enlightened show biz dilletante. As for the Canaanite religion stuff, however, well, I have a cousin who dug up sites in Jordan filled with foundation sacrifices, but among all the other sources, check-out "Human Sacrifice" by Nigel Davies. Probably one of the more enlightening works on human behaviour I've ever read. We're ALL in here. Every culture. Every race. We're all totally guilty. Great book. Exceptionally well-researched. A lot on tophets in there. The Minoan stuff is all over the place, but some discoveries are brand-new. I'll try to repost the sources! Otherwise, good luck!