Archaeology Baking I – Minoan Glyptic

Not that I’m competitive or anything, but not all the Classical baking round these parts comes from E Caucus and Cakemeister Judson. After the Sign of Tanit Plum Pie which featured in the Graduate Tea Ritual last term, I decided to stick with the medium of pastry for my next endeavour. Here’s what happened when I made apple pie this afternoon.

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Aegean prehistorians will recognise a ‘Mistress of the Animals’ in flounced skirt, flanked by antithetical griffins in characteristic Cretan style. Hovering above her head is a double-axe installed between Horns of Consecration. The scene is thus clearly signalled as religious in nature, which is appropriate since the ecstatic behaviour and joyful dancing which seem to characterise Minoan cult in many ways parallel the experience of eating pie.

Here’s the original seal-stone the design was based on. Since the choice of design was somewhat last minute (I chickened out of attempting to recreate the Phaistos Disc in pastry) this came from a Google Image search, and further details about this seal weren’t forthcoming so I can’t tell you anything more educational. The pie therefore being unprovenanced and consequently of limited use to future scholars, I see little harm in allowing hard-working Classics grads to eat it.

Since I forgot to add cinnamon, it remains to be seen how successful this will prove in the eating, but iconographically I feel it was a great success, and certainly a worthy follow-up to the Minoan gingerbread I made at New Year 2011.


Finally, it’s worth mentioning that I also did a practice pie since this was a recipe I haven’t followed before (and also to ensure that I’m not left pie-less by hungry friends: for a northerner like me, that’s a traumatic fate). For this I went with a less elaborate but still Classical laurel-wreath design:

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The Practice Pie was, I can confirm, yummy. All in all, Archaeology Baking went very well, and I hope this culinary escalation will be countered in kind by Linguistics-based rivals.

8 thoughts on “Archaeology Baking I – Minoan Glyptic

    • I think there will be some serious escalation in the linguistics camp. The proverbial gloves have come off. (But not the literal ones, for we do not want to burn our hands on the handling baking trays from the oven.)


      • Maybe this was what Fran foresaw? An arms race of baking culminating in a huge global conflict between academics, pursued not with guns and bombs but through the medium of pies and cakes?


      • I was envisioning something more along the lines of The Great Classical Bake-Off than a nuclear apocalypse, but I suppose even in the context of the former, when there’s only one bag of flour left in the whole of Cambridge, things could get nasty.


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