From images to signs: Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A in context

Santamaria, Andrea (2023) From images to signs: Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A in context, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Culture letterarie e filologiche, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/11010.
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This dissertation adopts a multidisciplinary approach to investigate graphical and formal features of Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A. Drawing on theories which understand inscribed artefacts as an interplay of materials, iconography, and texts, I combine archaeological and philological considerations with statistical and experimental observations. The work is formulated on three key-questions. The first deals with the origins of Cretan Hieroglyphic. After providing a fresh view on Prepalatial seals chronology, I identify a number of forerunners of Hieroglyphic signs in iconographic motifs attested among the Prepalatial glyptic and material culture. I further identified a specific style-group, i.e., the ‘Border and Leaf Complex’, as the decisive step towards the emergence of the Hieroglyphic graphic repertoire. The second deals with the interweaving of formal, iconographical, and epigraphic features of Hieroglyphic seals with the sequences they bear and the contexts of their usage. By means of two Correspondence Analyses, I showed that the iconography on seals in some materials and shapes is closer to Cretan Hieroglyphics, than that on the other ones. Through two Social Network Analyses, I showed that Hieroglyphic impressions, especially at Knossos, follow a precise sealing pattern due to their shapes and sequences. Furthermore, prisms with a high number of inscribed faces adhere to formal features of jasper ones. Finally, through experimental engravings, I showed differences in cutting rates among materials, as well as the efficiency of abrasives and tools unearthed within the Quartier Mu. The third question concerns overlaps in chronology, findspots and signaries between Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A. I discussed all possible earliest instances of both scripts and argued for some items datable to the MM I-IIA period. I further provide an insight into the Hieroglyphic-Linear A dubitanda and criteria for their interpretation. Finally, I suggest four different patterns in the creation and diversification of the two signaries.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Santamaria, Andrea
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Cretan Hieroglyphic; Linear A; Correspondence Analysis; Social Network Analysis; Experimental Archaeology
Data di discussione
15 Giugno 2023

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