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Hematite seal


Height: 0.295 cm
Diameter: 0.135 cm

ME 89556

Room 55: Mesopotamia

    Hematite seal

    Mitannian, about 1350-1250 BC
    From Mesopotamia

    Strong Assyrian influences

    This seal dates to the period known as the Mitannian Empire when much of northern Mesopotamia was under the control of people who spoke a language called Hurrian. In the east of the region lay the state of Assyria on the River Tigris. The design on the seal has a strong Assyrian influence. It depicts the goddess Lamma, a worshipper and a griffin demon together with hero figures. The heroes have hair with six curls according to a tradition which had been established a thousand years earlier.

    An interesting technical feature of this seal is the extensive use of the tubular drill to produce the small circles.

    W.H. Ward, Seals cylinders of Western Asi (Washington DC, 1910)

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


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    On display: Room 55: Mesopotamia

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