Jeremy Dubhrós

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The image of a figure holding two wild animals, often called the “Mistress/Master of Animals”, has appeared across many ancient periods and regions, on artifacts from proto-literate Mesopotamia in the Near East to the Aegean Iron Age. This motif has a demonstrable chain of cultural custody that is closely tied to concepts of both divinity and royalty. Rather than following a linear progression of diffusion with consistent interpretation, the Master/Mistress motif is culturally translated by adopting populations to suit the understandings within those populations. Though some concepts such as healing remained constant from culture to culture, the symbol was reinterpreted or modified based on the role it played in adopting populations’ cultural schemas. This resulted in the two seemingly separate motifs of the “Master” and “Mistress”. This translation demonstrates the close relationship these early cultures had to one another in spite of their perceived distinctness.

Publication Date






To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.