Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2013

2 April 2013

The Iconography of Aegean Seals

Janice L. Crowley

The Iconography of Aegean Seals

City: Liège

Year: 2013

Publisher: Peeters

Series: Aegaeum 34

Description: Hardback, xviii & 409 p., b/w figures in text, 25 b/w plates, 29.4x20.9 cm


The Iconography of Aegean Seals is a detailed analysis of the iconography of the images on the Aegean seals, signets and sealings, providing for the first time a comprehensive structured overview of these images and a presentation of the artistic rules governing the composition of their designs. The Icon Theory of Aegean glyptic art which encompasses all aspects of the complex iconography and the IconAegean standard vocabulary which reflects the visual language of the seal designs together give the reader a framework for discussion and study that has long been called for by researchers. In this book the reader is taken deep into the seal designs and asked to ponder anew the images in these miniature masterpieces that were of such importance to their Aegean owners. The exposition of the work of the icon in creating memorable seal designs is cogently argued through seal examples. The presentation of the terms of the standard vocabulary in an illustrated dictionary format makes the detail of the seal designs accessible as never before. The copiously illustrated closing discussion on design revises some of the old nomenclature, identifies new motifs and elucidates relationships between image groupings. This book takes a fresh view of the glyptic material, one that may surprise, but one that certainly provides new insights into the subtle, sophisticated and polyvalent iconography of the seal designs. 


Preface [vii]
Maps [ix]
Chronological Table for the Bronze Age Aegean with Special Reference to Seal Iconography [xi]
Abbreviations [xiii]
List of Figures [xvii]

Introduction: More than a Thousand Years [1]

The Nature of the Aegean Seal Material [2]
The Individual’s Choice: Seal and Jewel [4]
An Invitation to Read the Seals [5]

Chapter 1: Preparing to Read the Seals [7]

Problems Inherent in the Material [7]
The Need for a Comprehensive Terminology [9]
Through the Aegean Artist’s Eye: the Icon [13]
The IconAegean Classification [25]
Creating a Standard Vocabulary: the IconA 590 Terms [28]
A Primer for Seal Readers: the IconA 1000 Images [31]

Chapter 2: The IconAegean Dictionary [33]

Alphabetical List of the 590 Dictionary Terms [35]
Category: The 10 Categories, Terms C 1 to C 10 [39]
Theme: The 25 Themes, Terms T 1 to T 25 [45]
Icon: The 125 Icons, Terms I 1 to I 125 [61]
Element: The 340 Elements, Terms E 1 to E 340 [127]
Syntax: The 90 Syntax, Terms S 1 to S 90 [301]

Chapter 3: Reading the Seals [349]

The Choice of Images [349]
Familiar Features in Clearer Focus [352]
New Iconographic Identifications [354]
Dramatis Personae [359]
Icon Composition and Continuity in Design [366]
Layering Meaning Beyond the Individual Seal Design [368]

Coda: Continuing the Reading [377]

The Images and the Terms [377]

Appendix 1: The IconA 1000 Seal Images listed in CMS Order with their IconAegean Dictionary Number [379]

Appendix 2: Introduction to the IconAegean Databases  IconAData, IconADict, IconAegean [383]

Select Bibliography [385]
Index [401]
Figures [409]


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