Inv. N. Pigorini/ Series W
71954/ HT Wa 1294 (AB 74/ZE)
The nodule 71954/ HT Wa 1294 belongs to a group of six single-hole hanging nodules which present the same seal impression – “two male figures in procession”. They might represent two high-ranking officials, as suggested by their hairstyles and garments.
The nodule bears one Linear A on face C.
As regards hanging nodules, the function of this sign is uncertain. An acrophonic function is suggested on the tablet HT 16a.4 (Negri 2002-2003, 100; Montecchi 2019, 286).
This single-hole hanging nodule was discovered in the North-West Quarter, between the Room 13, also known as “Stanza dei Sigilli”, and the Portico 11, like most of the cretulae probably fallen from the upper floor, which collapsed in the fire that destroyed the Villa (Halbherr 1903, 30; Levi 1925, 73; for the provenance of administrative documents See Militello 1988, 1992, 2001, 2011).
Measures ca. 2.2 x 1.3 x 1.2 cm
Scribe Wa 80
The seal impression HT 125 recurs 256 times. In particular, it recurs 6 times in the “Pigorini corpus”.
The two protagonists of the scene appear to proceed leftwards from a building on the right, of which several rectangular elements are visible (CMS II, 6 nr. 011). If the scene takes place outdoors, this building might represent a shrine. Alternatively, if the scene takes place indoors, the two figures have probably just entered the door represented on the right (Halbherr 1903, 42; Marinatos 1993, 138; Krattenmaker 1995, 124; Blakolmer 2018, 43).
The gender of these two individuals has raised several doubts of interpretation. The two figures were first recorded as a woman and a man in the Entry Register of the Museum. However, it has been noted that the first figure on the left with a stick leaning on one shoulder (The stick is not noticed in the first published drawings from Halbherr and Levi, and it is later added from Younger. See Younger 1995, 159, nr. 21), wears an article of clothing which may be used by both men and women. This figure is bare from the waist up, and the characterization of the breast, typically distinctive of the female gender, seems to be lacking. The garment appears to be a leather skirt, which according to current knowledge was probably worn by those serving important roles. This is in fact considered to be a sign of prestige, rather than clothing characterizing gender.The second figure wears a distinctively masculine garment which brings to mind the leader of the harvesters on the Harvester Vase from Ayia Triada. The so-called sacred knot is very important in Minoan iconography. In particular, the “scarf knot” with two fringes appears lighter than the heavier “cloak knots” or “fringed cloaks”, which characterize, in particular, the prestige and the religious status of the wearer – a secular or perhaps even a divine authority, according to several hypotheses (Levi 1925, 132; Marinatos 1993, 135; Chapin 2012, 303; Crowley 2013, 355-356; Blakolmer 2018, 35).
The features, such as the hairstyle or the beard, of the first figure in particular (with the beard and long hair up to the nape of the neck), might suggest a mature age, on the basis of current knowledge, after fundamental studies by Kohel and Doumas (Kohel 2016, 116).
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