The Combat Agate from the Grave of the Griffin Warrior at Pylos

by Sharon R. Stocker and Jack L. Davis

Hesperia, Volume 86, Issue 4
Page(s): 583-605
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.86.4.0583
Year: 2017


The Pylos Combat Agate, in our view a Cretan work of Late Minoan I, may be the finest example of glyptic art yet discovered in a Minoan or Mycenaean context. It was found in 2015 in the grave of the so-called Griffin Warrior at Pylos. The face of the sealstone bears a representation of combat that draws on an iconography of battle scenes known from the Shaft-Grave period mainland and Neopalatial Crete. The level of detail in the representation of weapons and clothing, like the attention given to the physiognomy of the human bodies, is without parallel. We argue that the scene had special significance for the warrior and those who arranged his interment.