Inv. N. Pigorini/ Series W

71975/HT Wa 1779 (A 301)

The single-hole hanging nodule 71975 / HT Wa 1779 is the only one in the “Pigorini corpus” that bears a seal impression representing “a standing lion looking backwards”.

A 301/ JO?

It often recurs alone on hanging nodules; Its meaning is unknown, but has been hypothesized a relation with storerooms dealing with textiles (Weingarten 2017).  

The evidence emerging from the corpus of Linear A suggests that it might refer to people. However, it may also be associated with fractions, and it is uncertain whether it always occurs with 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).

It measures ca. 1.6 x 1.6 x 1.2 cm.

Scribe Wa 100.

The seal impression HT 45 recurs 25 times. In particular, it occurs only once in the “Pigorini corpus”.

The lion represented on this nodule, looking backwards, with the body partially in profile and with wide-open jaws, may be considered a poor example of Minoan naturalism (Incompetent naturalism – Weingarten 1988, 105), as noted by Weingarten. It seems, in fact, that few features of the lion were represented accurately, probably those that the engraver was more familiar with on the basis of his knowledge of lion skins. However, the proportions of the lion’s body, which appears to be represented as seen from above, and of the muzzle, are less accurate. On one hand the result may bring to mind the “Jasper Lion Master”; on the other hand, the technique used to represent the head, the mane and the tail through points and rows of straight lines, suggest that this may well fall into the large “Line-Jawed Lion Group”.

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