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Photographer's Note

Sheep and goat production are very important enterprises in Greece,
particularly in the mountainous less favored areas. In these areas the climate and
terrain is usually unsuitable to sustain any other type of agricultural productivity. Both
sheep and goats are principally kept for milk production. Lambs are born between
November and January and are weaned from their mothers after one month.
Sheep are common symbols in both mythology and religion.
The Greeks, Romans, and other cultures set significant store in the sacrifice of animals as an act of propitiation or worship in order to placate the gods and no doubt sheep where included amongst the animals deemed suitable as sacrificial offerings. Animal sacrifices including sheep also served other significant religious purposes other than appeasement, such as an offering of
thanksgiving, to seek a favour and as a way of telling the future such as the use of animal entrails for divination. For this purpose it appears that the sheep's liver was the most commonly used organ. In these ancient cultures the use of animal sacrifice was integral to religious practice and was in some cases a substitute for human sacrifice. In Greek culture according to mythology the gods took delight in human sacrifice but seemingly were willing to accept a substitute of an animal sacrifice with a few drops of human blood symbolically added.
The ancient Greek gods where called upon to protect sheep. In the Greek colony of Kyrene in Libya the god Aristaios was revered as the god of herdsmen and bee keepers. He was worshipped by herdsmen because it was believed that he was the protector of both the men and their flocks, watching over to protect them from predators such as wolves, weather and malevolent forces.
In Greek mythology the well known and ancient legend of the golden fleece is central to the mythological tale of Jason, one of the many great heroes of Greek mythology comparable to Herakles and Odysseus.

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Additional Photos by Kamila Zadora (Kamilutka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 576 W: 0 N: 1779] (8095)
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