Some time in the 1980's I read a novel that involved a protagonist discovering that the ancient Minoan practice of "jumping the bull" was actually a metaphor for an effect produced by some ancient artifact. As I recall the artifact(s) are a pair of micro black holes, one "negative" and one "positive" embedded in ancient rock. They are some distance apart on the Earth. One is in Crete and the other somewhere else in the Mediterranean. They are attracted to each other but if they meet the Earth will be destroyed. When the protagonist finds one of the artifacts it warps gravity in its vicinity.

I have tried googling all manner of search terms without success. Perhaps it was a novella or short story instead of a novel.

  • I read this, too. I think it was by a fairly well-known author. – LAK Jul 26 '18 at 20:25
  • Hi there! :) there is already a loot of good info in here, but maybe you could take a look at this guide on how to ask a good story-ID question, to see if this triggers any more memories that you could edit in. Cheers! – Jenayah Jul 26 '18 at 20:28

I think this is "Artifact", by Gregory Benford. Published in 1985. I remember reading it around then.

This is the link to the author's site for the book.

The titular 'artifact' is a micro black hole.

The blurb from Goodreads:

A small cube of black rock has been unearthed in a 3500-year-old Mycenaean tomb.

An incomprehensible object in an impossible place; its age, its purpose, and its origins are unknown.

Its discovery has unleashed a global storm of intrigue, theft and espionage, and is pushing nations to the brink of war.

Its substance has scientists baffled. And the miracle it contains does not belong on this Earth.

It is mystery and madness -- an enigma with no equal in recorded history. It is mankind's greatest discovery ... and worst nightmare.

It may have already obliterated a world. Ours is next.

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