- Museum number
Quartz, sardonyx? (probably grey to brown and whitish agate dyed with honey solution, so that the induced colouring follows the natural banding of the material, in imitation of sardonyx) cylinder seal; banded, browns and white with opaque cream inclusions; the goddess Gula, facing right and indentified by her dog which is sitting on haunches in front of her, also facing right stands an 'L'-shape, the back of which is decorated with nine stars. The goddess wears a tall, cylindrical, horned and star-topped head-dress with horizontal bands at the bottom and back, and her hair is indicated by three drill-holes. She has a vertically-striated, tiered robe hanging open over a fringed kilt, with a fringed shawl draped diagonally over her left shoulder, and she wears a double necklace, single bracelets on each wrist and a triplet anklet on her left ankle (the other ankle is hidden by her robe). In her extended left hand she holds a tablet and in her raised right hand she holds a scalpel. Her dog sits beneath a crescent, with its ears prickled; vertical lines indicate the fur on its neck and drill-holes mark its paws and the tip of its tightly-curled tail. A beardless worshipper stands facing Gula and her dog; he points with his right hand and extends the other. His hair is indicated by vertical lines and extended drill-holes, and he wears a square-patterned, short-sleeved, fringed robe, with a fringed shawl draped over one shoulder and wrapped twice around the body. Behind him is a tree, with minute drill-holes edging the branches to indicate leaves; an ibex or goat is standing on its hind legs and feeding from branches on the right. Patches on the bodies of the dog and goat are due to faults in the stone.
Diameter: 1.60 centimetres
Height: 3.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- According to catalogue "..the type of square-patterned dress worn by the worshipper was introduced in the early part of the eighth century and is found extensively on reliefs of the time of Tiglath-pilesar III and Sargon. It is probably during the latter reign that the workshop which produced this seal was active. There is a very close parallel for the worshipper on a seal in the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris".
- Bibliographic references
Collon 2001a / Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum: Cylinder Seals V: Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Periods (238, pl.XIX, pl.XLI, pl.XLIII)
Layard A H 1853b / A second series of the monuments of Nineveh; including bas-reliefs from the palace of Sennacherib and bronzes from the ruins of Nimroud, from drawings made on the spot, during a second expedition to Assyria (p.604)
King 1860 / Antique Gems, the Origins, Uses and Value (p.126, no.5)
King 1872 / Antique Gems and Rings (vol. I, p.53)
King 1885 / A handbook of Engraved Gems (pl.II:3)
Wiseman 1959 / Cylinder Seals of Western Asia (pl.68)
Beek M A 1962 / Atlas of Mesopotamia (p.118)
Collon 1987a / First Impressions: Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East (793)
Wittmann B 1992 / Babylonische Rollsiegel des 11.-7 Jahrhundrets v. Chr (pl.46i)
Delaporte L 1910 / Catalogue des cylindres orientaux et des cachets assyro-babyloniens, perses et syro-cappadociens de la Bibliotheque Nationale (330) (cf:)
- Not on display
- Fair; patches on the seal are due to faults in the stone.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number