Seal of the month

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New finds/Seals not in the CMS

The Seals from the Minoan Site of Chryssi Island...


New Publications

Hudler, Angelika. 2019. (E)scaping arguments: Gemmae dubitandae and their position in exploring Aegean Bronze Age Archaeology...


Other News

Workshop: Seals, Stamps, and Administration. Digitizing Bureaucracy – Preserving Heritage



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Our emblem is inspired by the hybrid creature on CMS XI no. 336. This representation symbolizes for us the dual and yet unified nature of the CMS. The CMS is a corpus, in essence a body, of the seals produced by the two main cultures of the Aegean Bronze Age, the Minoan and Mycenaean. Similarly in our depiction we have one body, a corpus, from which emanate the torsos of two similar but also different animals, an ox and a goat.

The iconographical elements combined in this seal are characteristically Aegean. Ox and wild goats are common in Aegean iconography and must have played an important role in the cognitive world of the Aegean man/woman. The agency in Aegean glyptic, that is, the human who creates and uses the seals, is symbolized for us by the human body from which both animal torsos emanate and upon which they both stand.

This seal belongs to a small group of seals which display a hybrid creature combining a human lower body and the torso of an ox or goat (see for example CMS V Suppl. 3 no. 113; CMS VI no. 298). Among those, depictions with the torso of an ox are often perceived as typically Minoan as they are reminiscent of the Cretan Minotaur of the Greek myth. Seals displaying such hybrid creatures are often cut in Lapis Lacedaemonius, a stone  found only in the Peloponnese. We thus see these seals as combining Cretan and Mainland elements in very real terms.

These seals cannot be attributed definitively either to the Minoan or Mycenaean culture. We are therefore dealing with artifacts belonging, at least for the modern scholar, to the Minoan/Mycenaean culture. They are dated to LB II-IIIA.

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Latest Revision: 2013-02-27
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