CYLINDER SEAL WITH PRESENTATION SCENE
Cylinder seal of lapis-lazuli with a hole running all the way through the centre as well as diametrically. It is engraved all around with a figurative scene representing three figures standing at an altar. The figure on the right is a god wearing a hat and a long tunic open from the waist to the calves. He holds a weapon in both hands, one brandished in the air and the other falling to the ground. Across from him is an identically dressed goddess raising one hand in prayer and holding the hand of a follower behind her. This latter wears a beard and a long robe. Between the two divinities we can see an altar and a star in the sky. Very fine condition.
Presentation scenes abound in Middle Eastern glyptic. The goddess Lama has the role of intercessor between the prayer and the divinity. She welcomes the follower and speaks for him. The seal was an object of great importance in the societies linked to Mesopotamia. It may have had many uses, either as a signature stamped on administrative documents, as a piece of identity for common individuals or as a ritual offering. Worn as a talisman, it was part of a tiara or became a pendant attached to a string thanks to a central hole. Around the middle of the 2nd millennium, the use of the dynastic seal began to spread, to such an extent that using the seal of his predecessor was, for a king, equivalent to absorbing the former's “virtues”.