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.

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Black serpentinite seal (modern impression)

Seal impression


More information


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)


Height: 5.050 cm
Diameter: 1.700 cm

Museum number

ME 89586


Excavated by A.H. Layard


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