The Minoan Civilisation was something that i have childhood memories of. No I am not that old, but when Baba came back from the UK, he got me a book on Minos, the bull leaping, the minotaur, and it was something huge for me back then. While I am not going to go into the details of this, when I saw this bronze age statue of a man leaping a bull, it brought me back to those old days. And for the life of me, i cant figure out the name of the book.
This shows a bull leaper fully over the bull. The idea is to wait till the bull has charged you and then at the last moment, grab the bull’s horns and then somersault over the head as the bull tosses its head.
From the front. You can make out the stretched neck, the man coming through between the horns while the bull is tossing its head. The statue shows that the man is attached to the bull by his long hair. It was a supremely dangerous sport, one small mistake in taking off and you will find yourself gored.
If you look closely, there is evidence that the bull leaper is rather well endowed. But given that this was considered to be a religious act, one isn't surprised to see that there is a link with fertility as well. Guess what? this is still done now in the south of France and in Tamil Nadu. See the wiki link.
A beautiful bronze figurine. See the full resolution slide show to make out the intricate work.