Cypriot Limestone Votive Pine Cone, Hellenisti…

Cypriot Limestone Votive Pine Cone, Hellenistic, 3rd-1st Century BC

Pine cone symbolism is consistently found across many ancient cultures. The ancient Greeks and Assyrians viewed the pine cone as a symbol of masculinity because of its phallic shape. It formed the apex of the Greek thyrsus staff, which was associated with Dionysus and represented fertility and prosperity.  Assyrian winged deities with pine cones represented the power of regeneration and immortality.

As the emblem of Artemis, it represented feminine purity. It was also the emblem of the Roman goddess Venus (Aphrodite). And, from ancient Egypt on some of the papyri illustrating the entrance of the souls of the dead into the judgment hall of Osiris, the deceased person had a pine cone attached to the crown of his head, which is thought to represent wisdom and immortality.