Biblical Archaeology Review 38:5, September/October 2012



This elegant, 2-inch high Minoan gold pendant depicts a Cretan wild goat, also known as the agrimi or kri-kri. The goat, with its distinctive long curving horns and powerful muscular frame, is shown in profile with its legs neatly tucked beneath its body. The piece, which dates to the 17th century B.C.E., is adorned with three dangling gold discs and has a suspension loop atop the horns, which suggests it was intended to be worn as jewelry.

The Cretan wild goat is a regular feature of Minoan art and often appears in wall paintings, pottery and various adornments, either alone or as the object of the hunt. In addition to being a prized game animal, the wild goat may have been ritually associated with the many Minoan shrines and holy places found atop Crete’s rugged mountains, the goat’s traditional habitat. Today, the wild goat is threatened and survives in limited numbers only in the remote White Mountains of western Crete.

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