N.inv. Pigorini/ Serie W
71978/HT Wa 1623 (A 301)

The single-hole hanging nodule 71978/HT Wa 1623 (A 301) bears a seal impression representing a “lioness in left profile, regardant” (Alberti et alii 2013, 12).

The nodule bears a Linear A sign on face C.

A 301/ JO?

It often recurs alone on hanging nodules; its meaning is unknown, but a relation with recordings possibly dealing with the textile industry has been hypothesized (Weingarten 2017).

The evidence emerging from the corpus of Linear A suggests that the sign might refer to personnel. However, it may also be associated with fractions, and it is therefore uncertain whether it has always the same meaning in differing contexts (TMT  321, Schoep 2003, 138).

The sign also recurs with a syllabic function in sign-groups. A possible identification with B 36/jo (?) has long been postulated on the basis of statistical occurrences and palaeographic evidence (Duhoux 1978; Facchetti-Negri 2003, 60-62).

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 2.0 x 1.5 x 1.4 cm

Scribe Wa 100.

The seal impression HT 38 recurs 5 times. In particular, it occurs only once in the “Pigorini corpus”.

The motif more precisely shows a lioness, characterized by three dots symbolizing the breasts (Alberti et alii 2013, 12).

In glyptic, lions are variously and widely attested (Blakolmer 2016, 123-124). However, lionesses, in particular, seem to be more rarely represented. This motif is well attested in LM I, where the lioness is characterized by mane and breasts, sometimes breastfeeding the cub, or hunting together with it. Apparently, the lioness with the cub, or with breasts, appears to be indeed an Aegean motif, without parallels in the Near East or Egypt. (Weingarten 1988, 106).

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