Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


3 December 2017

Attribution studies of golden signet rings: new efforts in tracing Aegean goldsmiths and their workshops

Nadine Becker Aegean Archaeology 11 (2011-2012) [2015]: 73-88

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The task of attributing seals to different hands or workshops is still a desideratum in Aegean studies, for the identification of Aegean seal-engravers and goldsmiths and their stylistic output could dramatically change our knowledge of the use, circulation and social impact of certain seals or seal groups and refine our methods of dating this (often only roughly datable) medium. A set of new data and methods now available, such as precise measurements of sizes and weights, x-ray analysis and material analysis finally enable us to shed new light on several questions concerning individual styles and thus to identify “masters” without the usual reliance on iconography. In this article, a set of thirteen signets will be presented in a detailed study highlighting their find contexts, their technical criteria and their iconographical similarities, leading to the conclusion that the rings were very probably made by six different “masters” working in the phases LHII-LHIIIA on Crete and the Greek mainland.


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