- Museum number
Light brown chalcedony or hornstone cylinder seal: two human figures in a ritual ceremony, and ancillary symbols. Two identical personages stand opposite each other in full profile; they wear hoods, knobbed in front, with neck flaps and fastened under the chin, they are dressed in Median-type garments with long sleeved, belted tunics or jackets with the skirt section marked by slightly curved transverse lines (possibly indicating different material) and with the ends of the belt, terminating in globules, hanging down in front, beneath which they wear trousers or leggings. The personage facing right holds a pestle and mortar in his raised and outstretched hands, while the personage facing left holds a barsom in his outstretched right hand and raises his left hand with the palm facing outwards. Between the figures is placed a fire altar, made up of a deep basin-shaped container with side lug handles, set on a column with a square base; flames rise from the altar. Above the scene hovers a horn-like symbol similar to those placed over winged discs. The group stands on a ground line. The seal appears to have been damaged by heating; it is fractured and has an altered cream surface that is crazed. The heat damage has resulted in a network of fine lines over the seal's surface, as well as one or two large cracks and chips noticeable on the face and leg of the figure on the right.
- Production date
- 4thC BC (?)
Width: 1.10 - 1.15 centimetres
Height: 2.65 centimetres
Width: 0.20 centimetres (drill-hole)
- Curator's comments
- Forgotten Empire catalogue entry
200 Cylinder seal in chalcedony (?) showing two figures in Median dress
The figures are facing each other on either side of a flaming altar. The figure on the left holds a pestle and mortar, and that on the right holds the barsom in his right hand and raises his left. Above is a yoke-shaped symbol. The seal has been damaged by heating. Base-line [?].
Provenance not known
Purchased from George Eastwood in 1865
H 2.65 cm, Diam 1.1 cm
British Museum, ANE 89528
Merrillees 2005: no. 75
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2006 7 Mar-11 Jun, Barcelona, Fundacion La Caixa, 'L'imperi Oblidat'
2005-2006 Sept-Jan, London, BM, 'Forgotten Empire'
Case 8, R Row L
- Fair / poor; complete; slightly worn; apparently damaged by heating - fractured with crazed surface and two large cracks and chips.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number