Seals and sealings provide an extremely rich source of evidence for the Aegean Bronze Age, offering insights into administration, art, iconography, interconnections, social status and technology. Since 1998 the Institute has actively supported research in this field, publishing, Aegean Seals: An Introduction (BICS Supplement 85, 2005) by Olga Krzyszkowska. She is currently responsible for publishing the seals from a series of excavations on Crete - including Armenoi, Knossos, Mochlos and Petras - as well as several sites on the Greek mainland. Recent post-doctoral research by Maria Anastasiadou (CMS) has also been carried out under the aegis of the Institute's Seal Project.
Since 2007 the Institute has facilitated work on the illustrated seals’ database prepared by Professor Ingo Pini and Dr Walter Müller of Corpus der minoischen und mykenischen Siegel (CMS) in Marburg; Olga Krzyszkowska (ICS) is responsible for the English translation. This database represents a wholly revised and corrected edition of all the published volumes of the CMS series, with numerous additional photographs and new drawings. It is available through ARACHNE, the central object database of the DAI and the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne
Currently the search terms, definitions and help boxes in the database appear mostly in German, accompanied by English translations. Eventually it is hoped that the database searches will also be fully feasible in English. In the meantime users may find it helpful to consult the complete English-German and German-English dictionaries, which also indicate the relevant search fields for specific terms. The dictionaries should be available in the near future as downloadable PDFs.
A live demonstration of the database was presented by Olga Krzyszkowska and Maria Anastasiadou (CMS Heidelberg) at a special meeting of the Mycenaean Seminar Series on 14 March 2012. Following the demonstration, Maria Anastasiadou presented a paper on: Of prisms and pictographs: searching for patterns in MM II glyptic.
The Institute has also entered into collaboration with the Institut für Klassische Archäologie in Heidelberg, in order to facilitate future seals research, and in particular to support the new CMS project, under the direction of Professor Diamantis Panagiotopoulos.