Bank on Aegean Subjects
DBAS - @egeanLab

DBAS - ACS Aegean Cushion Seals

The database on cushion seals DBAS-ACS

Anna Margherita Jasink, Giulia Dionisio

Cristian Faralli (tecnical support)

This digital catalogue is organized starting from the General Catalogue presented in G. Dionisio, A.M.Jasink, J.Weingarten, Cushion seals. Innovation in Form, Style, and Use in Bronze Age Glyptic, L’Erma di Bretshneider, Roma 2013. It seems useful to create a database which may give some more information about this typology of seals. This on-line resource may be a deepening with respect to the wonderful corpus of CMS contained in the ARACHNE database, concerning the whole corpus of the Aegean glyptic. In our database we may examine carefully the questions about cushion seals, and this on line-resource may represent a feasible instrument for such a specific topic.

An archive including the cushion seals corpus appears as an easily consultable tool and the schedule is the starting object of the on-line research. The inserted fields give information on provenance, chronology, material, motif and style of the seal.

The database structure is organized within a general research system with two different approach degrees:

  1. At a first level (first level search), which is based on the fields of the single schedules, we may immediately visualize the data concerning the basic elements of the files and the main relations connecting the data coming from the various schedules.
  2. At a more specialist degree (second level search), comparison may be undertaken among elements of the same field in different seals: starting from a single element – and not from a single seal – we may obtain percentages on the recurrence of materials, motifs, dating and so on. For this search we have focused our attention on animal motifs and on materials.


First level search

Second level search


In order to clarify the model of our database, we may take for the first level search,, by way of example, a single seal, Cat. 82, trying to collect the majority of information about its relations with other seals and elements of the seals of the whole cushions corpus, using the prepared queries.

The search may develop according to the following items:

  1. search of the schedule of a single seal (Cat. 82).
  2. recurrences of seals in the same material (both hard stone, in general, and in carnelian).
  3. recurrences of seals with the same stylistic dating (Late Minoan I).
  4. recurrences of seals with the same motif (either sea animals in general or cuttlefish)
  5. recurrences of seals with the same style (talismanic style).

For each of these queries a percentage linked to the total of related seals is offered.

Cat. 82 / CMS VII 224, talismanic cushion seal in carnelian, depicting a cuttlefish




VII 224


unknown (Eastern Crete)


Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum 56.1901


Stylistic dating: LM I


Hard stone: carnelian


12 x 9



Cuttlefish with two lateral tentacles S-shaped (or, better, composed by two lunettes joined by a line)




Onassoglou SE 36

For the second level search we may consider as example the single element represented by a specific motif, in this case a sea animal (the cuttlefish).



The search develops according to the following items and adds information not inferable from the queries related to the first level:

  1. search on a single animal (the cuttlefish motif).
  2. sequence of the recurrence of the other animals on the whole corpus of cushion seals, ratio of cuttlefish over each animal motif, and schedules of seals related to animals.
  3. sequence of the recurrence of the other animals on talismanic cushion seal, the ratio of cuttlefish over each animal motif, and schedules of seals related to single animals.
  4. selection of seals with cuttlefish motif on talismanic seals and statistics with respect to the whole corpus.
  5. recurrence of the cuttlefish on hard stone and soft stone cushions and their respective ratio.

Moreover, the database offers, concerning the images, a direct link with ARACHNE and, consequently, the possibility to see immediately the further information given in that portal.


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