Aniconicity in Late Minoan I Seal Iconography

Kyriakidis, Evangelos (2004) Aniconicity in Late Minoan I Seal Iconography. Kadmos, 43 (1). pp. 159-166. ISSN 0022-7498. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Much has been said for the aniconicity of Minoan Religion. Most of such arguments are predicated on the study of Minoan gold signet rings. On them some figures lack facial traits which is often explained as a symptom of Minoan Religion. But is that so? In this article several cases of gold signet rings with ‘aniconic’ faces are studied. The first observation is that not all faces are entirely aniconic. There are some which have several facial features rendered and are therefore ‘iconic’. There are many other however with facial characteristics but not properly rendered that can be termed ‘semi-iconic’. Studying the importance of the iconic figures it becomes obvious that they also are the most important in status. So it does not seem to be true that the gods’ faces are not depicted, instead it seems more likely that the gods were the ones depicted, and less important figures were not. I would argue that aniconicity is not a product of religious belief, but of technique, as several ‘aniconic’ figures are the ones that are depicted in frontal or ¾ views.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
D History General and Old World > DF Greece
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CD Diplomatics. Archives. Seals
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Evangelos Kyriakidis
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2008 12:00
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2014 08:23
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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