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The Giant Axes of the Ancient Minoans – What Were They for?

Some artifacts are really confusing. They are so large and heavy that it is impossible to think that they can be used by people of normal size.

Giant double ax of the ancient Minoan. Image credit:
 Giant double ax of the ancient Minoan. © Image credit:

So, what was the purpose of these ancient giant axes? Were they only produced as symbolic ceremonial objects or used by creatures of enormous stature?

Axes larger than humans cannot be used in battles or used as agricultural tools.

The giant axes of the ancient Minoans – what were they for? first
 Minoan Labrys: Term and symbolism most closely associated in historical records with the Minoan civilization, which peaked in the 2nd millennium BC. Some Minoan laboratories have been found to be taller than humans and may have been used in sacrifices. The sacrifice could be a bull. The laboratory icon was found extensively during the Bronze Age archaeological restoration at the Palace of Knossos on Crete. According to archaeological finds on Crete, this double ax was used specifically by Minoan nuns for ceremonial purposes. Of all the Minoan religious symbols, the ax is the most sacred. Finding such an ax in the hands of a Minoan woman would clearly indicate that she held a position of power in the Minoan culture. © Wikimedia Commons

The Archaeological Museum of Herakleion contains a unique collection of ancient objects discovered during excavations carried out in all parts of Crete including the archaeological sites of Knossos, Phaistos, Gortyn and many other sites. difference. Among the objects , we came across double shafts excavated at the “Minoan Megaron” in Nirou.

The Minoans model was a mysterious, advanced civilization and one of Europe’s oldest Bronze Age civilizations named the double ax – “labrys”.

A decorated gold Minoan lab, but normal size. Image credit: Wolfgang Sauber
 A decorated gold Minoan lab, but normal size. © Image credit: Wolfgang Sauber

Labrys is the term for a symmetrical double-edged ax that originated in Crete in Greece, one of the oldest symbols of Greek civilization. Before labrys became symbolic objects, they functioned as tools and axes.

The Minoans seem to have possessed remarkable technology; one of them is the creation of wonderful, small seals, skillfully carved from soft stone, ivory or bone. This fascinating ancient civilization created sophisticated lenses , and these ancient people were in many ways ahead of their time.

So it’s fair to question why such intelligent people would create giant axes that normal, normal-sized humans can’t use?

The Minoan civilization was very advanced.
 A piece of art on the wall: the very advanced Minoan civilization. © Wikimedia Commons

Some scholars suggest that the word labyrinth may have originally meant “the house of the double ax”. Experts in symbols suggest that the goddess of double axes presided over the Minoan palaces, and especially the palaces of Knossos.

The dual axes date from the Second Palace and Later Palace periods (1700 – 1300 BC).

The fact that these ancient axes were so large, does not prove that they were used by giants. That’s a possibility, but it’s also possible that, as the museum and other sources claim, they were just votive or worship items.