Exploring Aegean Iconography


Dr Crowley completed her PhD Degree at the University of Tasmania and enjoyed a long teaching career there in the Department of Classics. Of the many aspects of her academic life she values particularly her long association with the Aegaeum International Conferences and her deep involvement with the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA). Currently, from her home in Australia, Dr Crowley maintains an international profile in Bronze Age research lecturing and presentating papers at conferences overseas. She is the author of numerous publications on Aegean Bronze Age art and iconography but her most concentrated research has been reserved for the iconography of the Aegean seals. For over thirty years in the role of Invited Scholar, she regularly visited the Corpus der minoischen und mykenischen Siegel (CMS) in Marburg, Germany, to study the seal impressions, photographs and records held there. The publication in 2013 of The Iconography of Aegean Seals as Number 34 in the AEGAEUM Series draws on the Marburg research years. Her seal research continues, now as Invited Scholar with CMS Heidelberg, where, in 2014 she released her two Databases, IconAData and IconADict.

Current Research Projects comprise writing the book Reading Aegean Seals: Art and Interpretation and posting additional information and user-friendly features for the IconAegean Database.

The book will be the first comprehensive treatment of the art and interpretation of the images of Aegean Bronze Age glyptic, a most important corpus of art for the Aegean Bronze Age. It will examine the seal designs and present analyses of their artistic innovations and interpretations of their images. In the absence of translated texts which apply to the images, careful iconographic analysis provides the best means of appreciating and interpreting the images that the Aegeans themselves thought important to record. This book will be the companion volume to The Iconography of Aegean Seals where the icon theory of Aegean art was expounded and a comprehensive vocabulary for describing the seal designs was presented.

The IconAegean Database holds images and data on all the seals published in the Corpus der minoischen und mykenischen Siegel (CMS). The seal data is set out in the same format as in the IconAData Database and uses the standard vocabulary as set out in the IconADict Database and the book The Iconography of Aegean Seals. The IconAegean Database allows the full CMP Corpus of Aegean Seals to be ordered, for the first time, according to the iconography. Users will be able to move through the entries enjoying the sequence of like images gathered easily as never before by a single sorting procedure. Users will also be able to find groups of comparable seal images as they search on the first three fields in the Database which are now complete. The IconAegean Database will provide for the ordering of the seal material according to iconographic criteria (a first in Aegean iconographic studies) and vallow multi-termed searching across its database fields.

Colour photographs by permission of Ingo Pini and black and white illustrations by permission of CMS Heidelberg.

All text and images on this site are copyright protected and may not be reproduced without permission.



Welcome to my IconAegean website.

I feel privileged to have spent many years researching, writing about and sharing my knowledge of the seals, signet rings and sealings that are part of a golden age of art in the Bronze Age Aegean.

You are invited to explore the subject through my lectures and publications as well as through my databases of the iconography of the seal images.


                                                                                                                                       Janice L Crowley

Gold signet ring from Vaphio, showing a woman gesturing and a man pulling the tree and with hovering symbols above,

c1525 BCE, with impression and drawing of the impression (CMS I 219).

Last updated November 7, 2016