Curatorial Rationale:

Intaglios and seals were personal items used to identify a person in the ancient world. Whether used as plain seals or worn as jewellery, these inscribed gems when pressed into wax or clay authenticated legal and administrative documents, both identifying their owner and protecting their owner’s identity. 

The material, style and artistic quality of intaglios could also signify one’s identity in term of class, political status, kinship, and religious affiliations. Intaglios could also embody the owner of the seal, or the image represented on the seal. Religious imagery, magic, and apotropaic symbols featured frequently on intaglios as a means of personal protection. As such, intaglios are highly personal items that speak to broader themes of status and identity in the ancient world.

This exhibition explores the importance of personal identity and identity protection in the ancient world through the assemblage of intaglios and seals in the RD Milns Antiquities Museum’s collection.

Curated by Josephine Carroll-Walden & Brianna Sands

About Classics and Ancient History Seminars

All research seminars begin at 4 pm on Friday.

They will take place simultaneously in person and online.

The in-person venue is room E302 of the Forgan-Smith Building (building no. 1) on the St-Lucia campus of the University of Queensland.

The zoom link for viewing seminars online will remain unchanged for the whole semester:

For further information please contact the Seminar Convenor Associate Professor David M. Pritchard ( or +61 401 955 160).



E302 Forgan Smith, UQ St Lucia