Ancient Mediterranean

Digital Project

Seal impression

Cat. No.





Knossos, Little palace


H: 2.75 cm; W: 2.2 cm (1.3 cm of remaining fragments)


baked clay seal impression, probably by lentoid seal

Accession Number

Herakleion Museum 417


Evans 1904-05: 12-14; 1928: 243-245; 1935: 827; CMS II.8.1, no. 133; Gill 1965: 68, nr. J3; Morgan 2020: 97, fig. 3.4;Vanschoonwinkel 1982: 54-55; Wachsmann 1998: 96, fig. 6.23; Wedde 2000: 346, nos. 958

Midship section of a ship's hull showing the keelline, three oars, a mast and three stays to the left. Four rowers facing left, with a vertical line above their head. They are shown at the start of their stroke, suggesting that the ship is moving from left to right. Superimposed on the ship image is a horse which used the keelline as its baseline. It is considered intrusive and not part of the original composition. The horse obscures the lines which might otherwise clarify the function of the horizontal line above the rower's heads. Wedde lists a number of possibilities: awning, deck, yard/boom, with the latter being the most likely.

Evans, A. J. 1904-1905. “The Palace of Knossos and its Dependencies. Provisional Report for the Year 1905,” BSA 11: 1-26.

―――. 1928. The Palace of Minos. Vol II. London: Macmillan.

―――. 1935. The Palace of Minos. Vol IV. London: Macmillan.

Gill, M. A. V. 1965. “The Knossos Sealings Sealings: Provenance and Identification,” BSA 60: 58-98.

Gill, M.A.V., W. Müller, and I. Pini. 2002. Iraklion Archäologisches Museum: Die Siegelabdrilcke von Knossos. Unter Einbeziehung von Funden aus anderen Museen. CMS II.8. 2 vols. Mainz.

Morgan, L. 2020a. Keos XI: Wall Paintings and Social Context. The Northeast Bastion at Ayia Irini. Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press.

Vanschoonwinkel, J. 1982. “La barque dans le culte et la religion créto-mycéniens,” Revues des Archéologiques et Historiens d’Art de Louvain 15: 20-56.

Wachsmann, S. 1998. Seagoing Ships & Seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press.

Wedde, M. 2000. Towards a Hermeneutics of Aegean Bronze Age Ship Imagery. Peleus Studien zur Archäologie und Geschichte Griechenlands und Zyperns, vol. 6. Bibliopolis: Mannheim and Möhnsee.

  • drawing

    copyright icon © CMS II.8.1 - 133.1 Click for fullscreen
  • copyright icon © CMS II.8.1 - 133 Plate 1 Click for fullscreen
  • copyright icon © CMS II.8.1 - 133 Plate 2 Click for fullscreen
  • copyright icon © CMS II.8.1 - 133 Plate 3 Click for fullscreen