- Museum number
Cut, drilled and modelled style cylinder seal: made of banded grey and brown agate. On the left are the symbols of the Babylonian gods Nabu (the stylus) and Marduk (the tasselled spade with chevron-decorated handle) standing on altars beneath a winged sun-disc, symbol of the sun god Shamash. In the centre of the scene is a bearded worshipper who wears a robe with a vertical grid pattern on the bodice and a diagonal grid on the fringed skirt, each square being filled with a small dot executed with a tiny drill; over this garment he wears a fringed shawl. He stands facing left, pointing with his raised right hand and extending the other palm upwards. Facing him on either side are two deities, a bearded god on the left and a goddess on the right, both raising their right hands. They are crowned with star-topped, flaring, feathered and horned headdresses with tassels hanging down their backs, and they wear grid-and-drill-hole patterned upper garments and fringed kilts, criss-cross patterned belts and tiered open robes with very fine undulating vertical striations; on their backs they have crossed star-tipped bow-cases and quivers. The god wears a sword and holds a mace with a beaded handle ending in a pomegranate. The goddess holds a beaded circle with star-tipped rays which encircles her. The edges of the cylinder seal are chipped and there is a large chip by the worshippers head; there are also vertical faults in the stone by the spade.
- Production date
Diameter: 1.90 centimetres
Height: 3.65 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The subject-matter is typical of the cut and drilled style. However, the careful workmanship and detail, the prominence given to the symbols of Babylonian gods, and the grid-patterned dresses of the figures make it likely that the seal dates to the last third of the eighth century, after the Assyrian conquest of Babylon. The identity of the warrior deities and worshipper is uncertain. The stars surrounding the goddess are her 'melammu' or divine radiance.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2013 - 2014 22 June - 6 Jan, Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, 'Mesopotamia, Inventing Our World'
2013: 30 Jan-13 May, Museum of History, Hong Kong, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2012: 4 May-7 Oct, Melbourne Museum, 'The Wonders of Ancient Mesopotamia'
2008-2009 21 Sept-4 Jan, Boston, MFA, 'Art and Empire'
2007 2 Apr-30 Sept, Alicante, MARQ Museum, 'Art and Empire'
2006 1 Jul-7 Oct, Shanghai Museum, 'Art and Empire'
- Fair; edges chipped with one large chip; vertical faults in the stone.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number