Saturday, March 20, 2010

A clay seal

The mycenaeans used this kind of imprints to control the trade and who was owning what item, marking the vessels while they were still unburned.


Björn Nilsson said...

Any idea how old it is? 1400-1200 BCE or something like that?

Is there any interpretation of the imprint itself, if it is "just a sign" or actually indicating something intelligble to us?

Patrik Klingborg said...

Well, it's very difficult to give an exact date of an item such as this one without a context, but I would guess at a dater around 1200 BC, based on the LH III2b destruction. This piece is to be found in the Argos museum today.

On interpretations; you wouldn't believe how many of these imprints that have been preserved and several scholars have studied groups of them from different angles with different results (it would probably be impossible to study them all at once). Some seems to contain very intelligible motifs, others are simply patterns, this one could, in theory, belong to either one of the categories.