Exploring Aegean Iconography


The IconAegean Databases

IconAegean 1.2

IconAData 1.2

IconADict 1.2

Janice Crowley has created three Databases, IconAegean, IconAData and IconADict, to explore the iconography of Aegean Bronze Age glyptic. The Databases were launched at the Institute for Classical Archaeology at Heidelberg University, the two IconA Databases on Friday 2 May 2014 and the IconAegean Database on 20 June 2016, and they are now freely available on the CMS Website. They are subject only to the usual protocol of acknowledging the source of the information in any research or publication that uses the Databases, in this case CMS Heidelberg and IconAegean.

The IconAegean Database

This Database holds all the seals in the CMS Volumes: 9,181 seals, signets and sealings giving 10,972 designs on seal faces. Each design is shown as a drawing of the impression and described in a standard vocabulary especially created for Aegean glyptic iconography, the IconA Classification. CMS data is also provided. All data may be searched by Key Words across any of the Database fields.

It is now possible to order all these seal faces iconographically by sorting on the IconA Code field. Once that sort is performed all the images on the seal faces will be placed in order according to the IconA Classification starting with human figures, stylised humans and human artefacts, then moving through fantastic creations, fauna, sea life and flora, and on through geometric, script and miscellaneous. Users may then click through the Corpus enjoying the collections of similar images as they appear in sequence. This provision for organizing the seal images according to their iconography is a first in Aegean art studies.

At present more data is being uploaded into the IconAegean Database in the iconographic and CMS fields. The first three iconographic fields (the Category, Theme and Icon fields) are already complete and may be searched for full results. Searching on other fields will, at present, only give incomplete results. However, use of the Category, Theme and Icon fields will provide a user-friendly access into the iconography of Aegean seals.  

The IconAData Database

This Database holds 1000 seal designs especially chosen to illustrate the range of Aegean seal iconography. The choice has been made mostly from the CMS archives but also includes another 7 gold signets. It is set up in the same format as the IconAegean Database.

The IconADict Database

This Database holds the Dictionary of the Key Words including the 590 iconographic terms of the IconA Classification which describe the seal designs. These Key Words are defined and are used to search on the fields in the IconAegean and IconAData Databases. There are also Key Word entries covering the CMS terms, Database explanations for working with FileMaker Pro and Notes to help the User. The 590 Key Words comprising the iconographic terms of the IconA Classification are also discussed in the Author’s Aegaeum 34 Volume, The Iconography of Aegean Seals.


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The CMS Website


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Gold signet ring from Isopata, Crete, showing women in a flower field greeting a small goddess figure appearing on high

and with hovering symbols above, c1525 BCE, with impression and drawing of the impression (CMS II.3 51).

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

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Last updated 1 March 2018