Casting finger rings in Mycenaean times: Two unpublished moulds at the National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Elena Konstantinidi-Syvridi & Maria Kontaki The Annual of the British School at Athens 104 (2009) [February 2010]: 311-319.
The recording of two unpublished moulds in the storeroom of the Prehistoric Collections of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens, presented here, provide the stimulus for a re-examination of the construction method of the bezeled/signet rings of Mycenaean times. The moulds, one of semi-cylindrical shape and the other rectangular, belong to a limited class of items from Crete, Mainland Greece, and Enkomi, Cyprus.
It is possible that such moulds have served for the construction of the wax model of the artefacts, in the lost wax technique and not directly for the cast of gold, since the very construction of them, which is time-consuming and necessitates the skills of specialized craftsmen, indicates that they did not serve for a single use but rather for several uses. On the other hand, even steatite, the stone mostly used for such moulds, cannot adhere to continuous pressure to high temperatures, necessary for casting gold.