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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Prepalatial Seals

The Prepalatial seals are counted among the most important finds of the excavation of Archanes and almost all of them come from the cemetery at the Fourni hill. The seal engraving in Archanes reaches its zenith during the Prepalatial years. The variety of decorative subjects (theriomorphic seals, hieroglyphics, flora and fauna, representations complemented with human figures), the materials used (ivory, hippopotamus’ teeth) and the relations with Egypt and the East prove the blooming of seal engraving during this period. The seals of Archanes supply a lot of useful information on their triple function, that is sealing, decorative and talismanic, as well as on the commercial relations of Crete withl Egypt and the East. It seems that few important seal engraving workshop were operating in Archanes, especially during the Early Bronze Age. Their significance can be estimated today on the basis of the about 140 seal creations that have survived.