Inv. N. Pigorini/ Series W

71965/HT Wa 1561 (AB 81)

The nodule 71965 / HT Wa 1561 belongs to a group of three single-hole hanging nodules which present the same seal impression – “a bird facing left surrounded by plant motifs” (Del Freo 2002-2003, 63-64).

It bears the sign AB 81 / KU on face C.

The sign might serve as an abbreviation (/logogram) whose precise meaning is unknown. As has been suggested, it might be related to agricultural or textile products, or a category of people. It has also been hypothesized that it might have to do with totals – perhaps like KI, which may serve as an abbreviation for ki-ro “shortage” (this is suggested in less ambiguous contexts though e.g. HT (Negri 2002-2003, 100; Montecchi 2019, 282).

This single-hole hanging nodule was discovered in the North-West Quarter, 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; per i luoghi di provenienza dei documenti amministrativi cfr. Militello 1988, 1992, 2001, 2011).

It measures ca. 2.2 x 1.6 x 1.0 cm.

Scribe Wa 90

The seal impression HT 19 recurs 38 times. In particular, it recurs three times in the “Pigorini corpus”.

 It represents a water bird, probably a duck, surrounded by branches/palmettes. According to J. Weingarten this may be the result of a specific glyptic school, i.e.“the School of the Ayia Triada Palmettes” (Krzyszkowska 2010, 177).

In Bronze Age art, especially between MB II and LB II, the motif of water birds is one of those which recur more often alone, together with the more common bull and agrimi (the typical Cretan goat). Water birds recur on vascular paintings, frescoes, jewels and weapons. They are well-characterized in terms of morphology and posture. It is therefore possible to clearly distinguish geese, ducks and swans (Binnberg 2018, 110).

In Cycladic and Cretan art, these animals are often associated with the flow of water. This connection is emphasized also by water-bird-shaped rhyta and libation vessels. Moreover, they could be seen in relation to anthropomorphic figures, possibly of divine nature, as companions and messengers of the divine (Blakolmer 2016, 120-121; Binnberg 2018, 113-114).

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