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WINGLESS GRIFFINS AMONG PAPYRUS PLANTS FROM NEOPALATIAL KNOSSOS? A RECONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL OF THE SEAL IMPRESSION CMS II8, 321

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2020

Nicoletta Antognelli Michel
Affiliation:
Technische Universität Darmstadt
Corresponding

Abstract

This paper offers a new interpretation of the motifs preserved on the fragmentary Late Minoan (LM) I seal impression from Knossos CMS II8, 321, proposing a reconstruction of the original scene as two couchant overlapping griffins without wings among papyrus plants. If correct, the combination of all these elements is quite exceptional, since this scene would provide a unique reflection in glyptic art of the famous Throne Room decoration of Knossos, with its imposing wingless griffins immersed in a lush landscape of papyrus-reeds. Although a well-known ivory plaque from Mycenae displays a similar composition with a single, ‘classical’, winged griffin, no seal image seems to show also the wingless beast and the overlapping pose of two couchant griffins. The present investigation explores several parallels not only for this rare, yet well-attested, compositional scheme in Aegean art, but also for the figure of the wingless griffin. Both will be found in the Pylian palace decorative programme, which offers further griffins without wings – even in glyptic art – a meaningful parallel, since the interconnections between the Palace of Nestor and the Palace of Minos provide some of the most intriguing material in the study of Aegean imagery.

Άπτεροι γρύπες ανάμεσα σε παπύρους από τη νεοανακτορική Κνωσό; πρόταση ανακατασκευής του σφραγίσματος CMS II8, 321

Το άρθρο προσφέρει μία νέα ερμηνεία των μοτίβων που διατηρούνται στο αποσπασματικό Υστερομινωικό (ΥΜ Ι) σφράγισμα από την Κνωσό CMS II8, 321, προτείνοντας μια ανακατασκευή της πρωτότυπης σκηνής ως δύο ανακεκλιμμένων επικαλυπτόμενων γρυπών χωρίς πτερά ανάμεσα σε παπύρους. Εάν ευσταθεί, ο συνδυασμός όλων αυτών των στοιχείων θα ήταν εξαιρετικά αξιοσημείωτος, καθώς η σκηνή θα προσέφερε μία μοναδική αντανάκλαση στην τέχνη της σφραγιδογλυφίας της διάσημης διακόσμησης της Αίθουσας του Θρόνου από την Κνωσσό, με τους επιβλητικούς γρύπες βυθισμένους σε ένα πλούσιο τοπίο από καλαμιές παπύρων. Παρότι μία παρόμοια σύνθεση με έναν «κλασικό» πτερωτό γρύπα απεικονίζεται σε ένα ευρέως γνωστό ελεφαντοστέϊνο πλακίδιο από τις Μυκήνες, καμία απεικόνιση σε σφράγισμα δε φαίνεται να δείχνει και το άπτερο θηρίο, και την επικαλυπτόμενη στάση των δύο ανακεκλιμμένων γρυπών. Η παρούσα μελέτη εξερευνά πολλά παράλληλα, όχι μόνο γι’αυτή τη σπάνια αλλά και ευρέως μαρτυρούμενη σύνθεση στην Αιγαιακή τέχνη, αλλά και για τη φιγούρα του άπτερου γρύπα. Και τα δύο θα τα συναντήσουμε στο διακοσμητικό πρόγραμμα του ανακτόρου της Πύλου, το οποίο διαθέτει και άλλους γρύπες χωρίς πτερά, ακόμη και στην τέχνη της σφραγιδογλυφίας: ένα παράλληλο με σημασία, καθώς οι αλληλεπιδράσεις ανάμεσα στο ανάκτορο του Νέστορα και το ανάκτορο του Μίνωα συνιστούν εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέροντα δεδομένα για τη μελέτη της Αιγαιακής εικονογραφίας.

Μετάφραση: M. Κοψαχείλη

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Council, British School at Athens, 2020

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WINGLESS GRIFFINS AMONG PAPYRUS PLANTS FROM NEOPALATIAL KNOSSOS? A RECONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL OF THE SEAL IMPRESSION CMS II8, 321
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