Aegean seal-engravers: their materials, tools, techniques and the evolution of skills

Wednesday 4 May 2022 (16:00-17:30)

Dr Daniel Reynolds (

CAHA and CBOMGS Research Seminars 2021-22, Spring semester

The Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA) and the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies (CBOMGS) at the University of Birmingham are delighted to announce their spring research seminar series. The series includes seminars co-hosted with the Centre for the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures (BRIHC) and the Centre for the Study of the Middle Ages (CESMA).  

Speakers: Nikos Papadimitriou (Archaeologist, Director of the Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum, Athens)
Akis Goumas (Goldsmith, Researcher of ancient craft technologies; 2021 Visiting Artist at the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies):

Each seminar has an individual registration link. Please register with the email address that you intend to log in on the day of the seminar. 


Seal-engraving was one of the most prolific crafts in the Bronze Age Aegean. Thousands of seals have been found in all kinds of contexts, providing a wealth of information about economy, religion and art in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Numerous studies have focused on their iconography and function. Βut what about their technology? How were these objects made? In this seminar, we will attempt to throw light on the world of Aegean seal-engravers. By examining their workplaces, the materials they used, the toolmarks they left on the surface of seals, and some errors they made, we will try to understand their working methods, the organization of the craft, and how technical skills evolved in time. Our presentation will be based on archaeological data, microscopic examination of selected seals, and experimental reconstructions. 

For queries please contact Dr Theodora Hadjimichael ( or Dr Daniel Reynolds (