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Altar Legs from Pergamum 1

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Altar Legs from Pergamum 1
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Photo Comments

Two marble legs of an Altar that were discovered at Pergamum.  The sign in the museum says "Pergamon Zeus Altar."  Given the symbolism, it looks to me that the altar may have been dedicated to the Goddess Demeter—the goddess of agriculture!

These altar legs are beautifully carved.  On the long side, note the central "Tree of Life" with three branches on each side and rosettes between the branches—all, agricultural symbols.  At the bottom, there were two mythological animals—one of which was defaced.

On the near end side, note the staff or torch with a head of grain visible.  This type of staff is often seen on depictions of Demeter (Here and Here—a mother goddess and the goddess of agriculture.  On the interior of the far leg, note the "Caduceus"—which is normally a symbol connected to a cult, particularly with Hermes.

To view a different altar at Pergamum to see how these legs were used, Click Here.

To view the reconstructed Zeus Altar Complex from Pergamum in Berlin, See Here.