Article about the Minoan Genius:
Μινωικοί Δαίμονες: Τελικά, τί γνωρίζουμε γι’ αυτούς; by Panagiotis Kousoulis - Christina Papadaki
in Θέματα Αρχαιολογίας 6.1 (2022)
Abstract (from the authors): Το άρθρο σχολιάζει τις δαιμονικές οντότητες ως εκδηλώσεις του άυλου - υπερφυσικού κόσμου των Μινωιτών. Υποστηρίζεται ότι οι οντότητες αυτές διαμορφώνονται, κατά βούληση, από τον ανθρώπινο νου και τους αντίστοιχους τελετουργικούς μηχανισμούς και είναι αδύνατο να τις κατανοήσουμε στο σύνολό τους. Εντελώς υποθετικά, οι «υπερβατικές» μορφές, που υπάρχουν σε όλους τους πολιτισμούς, από τη δημιουργία του κόσμου, ως μεσολαβητές μεταξύ του φυσικού και του υπερφυσικού κόσμου, θεωρείται ότι μπορούν να αποτρέψουν «αόρατους» εχθρούς που βλάπτουν και επηρεάζουν την ομαλή ροή της ανθρώπινης καθημερινότητας. Η συγκριτική εξέταση των κρητο-μυκηναϊκών φανταστικών όντων με παράλληλά τους από την Αίγυπτο και την Εγγύς Ανατολή καταδεικνύει ομοιότητες ως προς την ιδέα αυτή καθαυτή αλλά και διαφορές στις λεπτομέρειες που τελικά δίνουν άλλη υπόσταση στις μορφές κάθε πολιτισμικής ενότητας.
New article about the seal from our HOME (Sissi, Crete):
The Sissi Genius Lentoid: A Lapis Lacedaemonius Seal from Final Palatial Crete, by Diana Wolf
in HESPERIA 91.3 (2022)
Abstract (from the author): A Final Palatial lapis lacedaemonius seal, here called the Sissi Genius Lentoid, was recovered during the 2018 excavation of the Court-Centered Building at Sissi, East Crete. The seal instantly drew attention because of its rare material and unique iconography that shows a Minoan genius flanked by the foreparts of two agrimia. An examination of the object within the context of Late Minoan II–III hard stone glyptic, particularly the lapis lacedaemonius seals, reveals ideological and sociopolitical links between Sissi and other Cretan sites, including neighboring Malia. The lentoid belongs to a group of seals that clearly formed prestige items used by sociopolitical elites who were exercising control over the surrounding land, possibly as delegates of the Knossos palace.
Eleven new seals, a sealing and several clay objects from the Minoan palatial site of Sissi:
From the text: The excavation campaigns of 2017-2019 have brought to light more seals than those of 2007-2011 and 2016 together. As a consequence, we now have an overall number of 20 pieces from the site. This sudden rise in seal finds is probably not due to chance but related to the fact that work was concentrated on the CCB which was, as it seems, an area in which seals were intensely circulating not only during the time of its function but also after the structure was abandoned. It is ... possibly no chance that with the excavation of this structure our image of glyptic in Sissi has considerably changed. Hard-stone seals are now added to the repertoire, an addition that proves our previous perception of the Sissi glyptic as more ‘provincial’ than that of other east Cretan settlements false.
Abstract (from the authors): The focus of this paper is to present a new methodology that examines Cretan Hieroglyphic seals from both epigraphic and glyptic standpoints to be understood as parts of an integrated and multimodal system of communication. As our premise, we consider the newly published material from Myrtos-Pyrgos (Ferrara, Weingarten, Cadogan, 2016), and then compare and contrast local trends impacting the presence and use of inscribed seals from reasonably well provenanced Middle Minoan contexts in the East of the island. The goals are : 1) to throw light on the cultural significance of the administrative and symbolic functions played by Hieroglyphic seals and seal impressions ; and 2) to gain a synoptic appreciation of the emergence and use of this relatively short-lived writing system.
Online lecture on 12/01/2022 (see here) (16:30-18:00 CET):
Not Only Clothing. The Consumption of Textiles in Bronze Age Greece and New Evidence for Technical Textiles from Imprints on the Undersides of Clay Sealings, by Agata Ulanowska.
Note that you have to register online ahead before you can attend the lecture!
Online lecture (see here) today (14:00 CET):
The lecture will also discuss the manufacture of Aegean seals!
Hundreds of imprints of prehistoric textiles discovered on the back of Aegean sealings!
Check out this excellent video where archaeologists and modern craftsmen working in ancient techniques reconstruct the Mycenaean technique of granulation (gold jewellery)! We also often find granulation on the hoops of signet rings that date to the Late Bronze Age (see here image 4, the small gold dots)!
Not only for seal lovers, but definitely also for them as we will certainly see some masterpieces of Aegean glyptic here today: Michael Ventris Memorial Lecture: Tales from Nestor's Crypt: Pylos 2015-2020.