The seals of this period are superb. Craftsmen engraved tiny figures on the small surfaces of hard precious or semiprecious stone. The motifs are ideogrammatic and hieroglyphic signs, naturalistic scenes drawn from the life of the land and the sea, and tectonic motifs. Common seal shapes include prisms, seals with a handle, biconcave discs, and compressed cylinders. The raw materials used were chalcedony, jasper, agate, amethyst, rock crystal, cornelian, and haematite. A seal – engraving workshop of the period has been discovered in Quartier M at Malia. The motifs used on the surfaces of the seals are also known from the series of seal impressions found in the old palace at Phaistos and the palace building at Monastiraki. It was through seals and miniature artefacts, that the Minoan craftsman expressed his love for the microscopic.
Dr Andonis Vasilakis