- Museum number
Late cut and drilled style cylinder seal: of orange-brown cornelian. Depicted is an antithetical scene consisting of a winged disc above a tree, supported on either side by a small scorpion-man, flanked by a worshipper on the left and by a god on the right, behind whom is a hero grasping stags and gazelles, with an inscription to his right divided by a globe-topped dagger-shape. There are three bearded human heads on the wings, two with globe-topped head-dresses at either end facing a god in the centre, wearing a tall, globe-topped, horned head-dress who raises one hand and faces left. The tree consists of a palmette-topped upright with double lines at the bottom, in the middle above a globe, and at the top above a globe, enclosed in an arch decorated with spiked globes. The scorpion-men face each other on either side of the tree; they raise both hands towards the wings but do not actually touch them. They are bearded, are human above the waist with pectoral muscles indicated by drill-holes, have a scorpion's tail and the legs and talons of a bird of prey; the back leg of each rests on the front foot of the flanking figures. The worshipper on the left is beardless, wears a fringed shawl over a fringed robe and raises one hand with palm towards him; there is a strange cluster of four drill-holes on the upper part of his body. The god stands facing left; he is bearded and wears a striated head-dress resembling hair, possibly horned and with a palmette-crest at the top. He wears a fringed shawl and a fringed and tiered open skirt over a kilt, raises his left hand with the palm towards him and extends the other as a fist. The hero is bearded and shown frontally apart from his feet which are turned towards the left; his hair is fastened in a topknot and falls in three long curls on either side of his face; he wears a broad-belted kilt decorated with dot-filled squares, with a fringe down the front, the end of which hangs between his legs. Against his chest he holds two small stags whose legs stick out on either side and whose antlers frame his head; in his fists, which are clenched against his chest, he holds the hind legs of two gazelles, which hang down on either side. The globe-topped dagger-shape (also interpreted as an 'ankh'), set at right angles to the inscription, is used to separate the two parts of the inscribed name.
- Production date
Diameter: 1.20 centimetres
Height: 2.40 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- According to the catalogue "the craftsman who carved this seal relied heavily on the use of the drill but the execution is very fine and detailed. The inscription has been dated between c.700 BC and 630 BC, a date which corresponds well with the style and iconography".
- 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'
2011 28 March-26 June, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Splendours of 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'
- Acquisition notes
- Acquired before 1857.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number