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by Archaeology Newsroom

Wrestling. A Minoan athletic game in dispute

Boxing and wrestling are commonly regarded as Minonan athletic games. Scholars, however, often confuse these two competitions. Let us for instance examine the athletic representations of the Boxer rhyton from Agia Triada, in which twelve boxers are depicted, but no wrestler. Sir A. Evans uncovered (1901) in the eastern side of the Knossos palace several fragments of agonistic high-reliefs. In Palace III (1930) he described one of these as ” part of a wrestler relief”. However, B. Kaiser gave recently a new interpretation of this specific fragment.The represented athlete is a toreador grasping a bull’s horn with his left hand. We agree with Kaiser’s interpretation and supply new supporting arguments. Therefore, wrestling cannot anymore be considered undisputedly as an athletic Minoan game and further research is necessary.