Explore highlights
Black serpentinite seal (modern impression)

Seal impression


Height: 5.050 cm
Diameter: 1.700 cm

Excavated by A.H. Layard

ME 89586

Room 55: Mesopotamia

    Black serpentinite seal (modern impression)

    Neo-Assyrian, about 900-800 BC
    From Mesopotamia

    A battle scene in miniature

    Many seals of the Neo-Assyrian period reflect the themes of the wall reliefs decorating the royal palaces. This example mirrors hunting scenes from scenes on reliefs at Nimrud, where the king runs over the body of an enemy while firing arrows. The hunter depicted on seals is almost always an archer, either shown kneeling, standing, or shooting from a chariot at his prey which is generally a bull, sometimes a winged bull or sphinx. However, this is probably a battle scene, as his victim is not an animal but a headless man.

    D. Collon, First impressions: cylinder se (London, The British Museum Press, 1987)

    A.H. Layard, Discoveries in the ruins of Ni (London, J. Murray, 1853)


    Browse or search over 4,000 highlights from the Museum collection

    On display: Room 55: Mesopotamia

    Shop Online

    History of Assyrian palace sculptures, £9.99

    History of Assyrian palace sculptures, £9.99