Understanding Bronze Age Aegean through Seals

The University of Heidelberg is offering an online seminar on Aegean glyptic in conjunction with Heidelberg University's initiative ‘Webinars in Specialized Disciplines’, which is sponsored by the Minister for Science, Research and Art in Baden-Württemberg.


With more than 12 000 seal faces known today, seals represent the richest source of Aegean imagery and provide an image ‘database’ of everyday life and the cognition of the Aegean individual. The sheer number of Aegean seals and ancient seal impressions, which exceeds 10 000, is a potent piece of evidence for the significance of seals in Aegean societies. Seals were used as a means of preventing from unauthorized access, of identification and substantiation, as personal charms, status symbols and ornaments. The diverse roles of these objects underline their importance at multiple societal levels, starting from the personal one and reaching that of state administration, and thus their significance for understanding the societies that produced them.


The online seminar will focus on the significance of seals/sealings for understanding Aegean Bronze Age societies. It will approach seals as potent tools that provide valuable information on the various aspects of life in the Bronze Age Aegean and will address topics such as the everyday life, cognition and administration in the Aegean, each of which will be examined in one session using seals and sealings as evidence. Aim of the seminar is to provide the foundation for understanding Aegean glyptic material both from an art historical point of view and as a critical piece of evidence which can help address broader issues pertaining to our understanding of the Aegean Bronze Age.

The online seminar will take place in the Summer Semester 2018. It will be given in English and will take place Wednesdays, 16:15–17:45, Central European Time. The first meeting will be the 18/04 and the last the 25/07. Certificates will be issued upon successful completion of the class.

The seminar is open to participants around the world and is free of charge. Prerequisite for participation is a good internet connection, online attendance for at least 13 of the 15 sessions and active participation in the course by way of, among others, an oral presentation on an appointed topic. 

Those wishing to participate should send a statement of interest and CV to Dr. Maria Anastasiadou: maria.anastasiadou@zaw.uni-heidelberg.de by 26 March 2018.

The number of participants will be kept to a maximum of 13.

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Latest Revision: 2018-03-21
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