Ambiguity & Minoan Neopalatial Seal Imagery

Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology & Literature No. PB 176

By Erin McGowan
June 2012
Astroms Forlag
Distributed by
ISBN: 9789170812446
96 pages, Illustrated
$99.50 Hardcover

Minoan seals have often been described as probelmatically ambiguous. By assembling and reframing current discourse, this volume challenges the value of characterising glyptic imagery in this way. Istead ambiguity may indicate the presence of deliberate practice, incorporateing varied meaning through multivalent or condensed expression, well suited to the compact size of the glyptic medium. Using a form of relational network theory, the author explores the ways in which a selection of glyptic images from Ayia Triada respond to different coneptual and associative contexts and suggests that the idea of indeterminate ambiguity--as a by-product of western taxonomic systems--may mask this multivalent aspect. By positioning glyptic imagery as multivalent this volume makes a signficant contribution to debates within Aegean Bronze Age archaeology and current interpretative practice.


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