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Ii1 446a 1








 

 

 

 
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Seal of the month

February 2018 (Minoan Valentine)

 

 

Ii1 446a 1


 
Ii1 446a 2


 
 

 


 

 

 

 

CMS II,1 no. 446 (a)

Side (a) of a stamp cylinder. Hippopotamus ivory. Soft stone technique.

Copulating scene (?): Two human figures, seated the one (right) on top of the other. The figures are facing each other with their faces close to one another. In the field there are three motifs, an Y-motif (sistrum?), a C-spiral and an S-shaped motif whose ends end in plants.

On side b are depicted three fish, the one above (or next to) the other.

From Viannos, Crete

Stylistic dating:EM III-MM IA

 

Commentary

This is a unique scene in the Aegean image repertoire possibly showing two human figures in sexual intercourse. Despite the fact that a fighting scene cannot be totally ruled out, the posture and the way the two figures are combined in the image suggest a rather intimate scene between the two figures. There are no physical indicators of the sex of the figures, so it is possible that humans of different or the same sex are depicted. Cases in which human figures are shown in sexual arousal but without corporeal proximity are rare but not unknown from Aegean glyptic. It has been suggested recently that this is the state in which two male figures are depicted on the bezel of a Late Bronze Age signet ring from Pylos in Messenia (Robert Kohl).

Three more images which can be interpreted as copulation scenes are known from Aegean glyptic, all Minoan and all involving copulating agrimia. Of interest is the fact that in the aforementioned seal from Pylos an agrimi is depicted alongside the two male figures. A LM I lentoid depicting two waterfowls the one above the other has also been seen by some as a possible copulation image but this interpretation cannot be taken as certain because the image could also be read as showing two animals the one behind the other.

 

 

 

 

 

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