Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Grave Rabbits

A recent paper on the copper age in Spain says that these little rabbit figurines are commonly found in burials. The authors think these grave rabbits represent the same association of rabbits with fertility and rebirth that later made them part of Easter celebrations:
Within this broad sense related to an idea of reproduction we may look at the double lagomorphs as if sprouting from a common base or multiplying, suggesting that this representation supports the main idea behind these objects: renewal. Expressing and acting over the capability of regeneration, these objects (most of them pendants) may have been used as amulets, revealing an ability to act in transforming reality. Although arguing for a different meaning, by associating underground movements of rabbits to the return to the earth expressed by funerary monuments, the proposal of Thomas and Waterman (2013) follows the same general view of rabbit figurines as metaphors.
Fascinating. I always assumed that rabbits ended up in the Easter package just because they breed like rabbits. It never occurred to me to consider rabbits as messengers to the underworld or as signs of resurrection. But what if they were?

No comments: