Aegean glyptic, through its images on seals, signet rings and sealings, gives us one of the best sources for understanding life and art in bronze-age Crete and Greece from Early Minoan II (c. 2600 BC) to the fall of the Mainland Palaces at the end of Late Helladic IIIB (c. 1200). Only pottery can claim so long and continuous an artistic (and functional) tradition of some 14 centuries. But pottery does not carry the range of subject-matter provided by the seals. This seminar focusses on a closed and dated archive of material from bronze-age Crete at the end of Middle Minoan II (c 1700 BC), the sealings from the First Palace at Phaistos. Sealings are the original impressions of seals or signets, in clay, made on objects or message packets in the palaces or villas. They survive for us only because the buildings were destroyed by fire burnt, baking the clay with the image imprinted on it. The Phaistos sealings provide 322 images which, taken together, open all the fields of enquiry into Aegean art and iconography, allowing us to look back at the early creations and forward to the great efflorescence of Minoan high art.

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

Classics and Ancient History seminars are followed by a wine-and-cheese reception ($2 coin donation per person). Enquiries about the seminars may be made to Dr David Pritchard

The Friends of Antiquity, an alumni organisation of the University, runs its own series of public lectures, which take place on Sunday afternoons. The Friends’ program for 2017 can be found at http://www.friendsofantiquity.org.au.

Venue

Michie Building
Room: 
216