Mycenaean Seals and Sealings

John G. Younger

in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199873609
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Mycenaean Seals and Sealings

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Classical Art and Architecture


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After the introduction of a sealing system from the Near East into southern Greece in the Early Helladic period and the destruction of that culture, there is no demonstrable sign that seals were used on the Greek mainland until the sudden appearance of seals in the Mycenae Shaft Graves at the end of the Middle Helladic period. After the Shaft Grave period, seals are known on the Greek mainland, but there is almost no evidence that seals are being carved there. A stone mold for a gold ring found in a tomb at Eleusis constitutes the slim evidence for the making of seals Greece. Perhaps almost all seals used on the Greek mainland in the Late Bronze were made in Crete. After the fall of Knossos, Mycenaeans produced the Mainland Popular group, a series of beads in soft stones and glass that look like seals but were (almost) never used administratively.

Keywords: sealing system; seals; Mycenae; Shaft Graves; Greece; Crete; Mainland Popular group; Bronze Age; beads

Article.  4389 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Classical Art and Architecture

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