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Black stone (hematite) cylinder seal with a hole running through its centre and engraved all around with a figurative motif representing three people and two animals. We recognize the god Amurru holding a crozier with both hands and, near him, a horned, goat-like animal. The figure wears the distinctive signs of a long beard and a tunic. Another god dressed in the same manner holds a stick with five globes representing a plant, with a fish below. Flagpoles ornamented with globes of vegetal inspiration are typical of the neo-Babylonian type. Across from him, a nude woman is shown from the front with her face in profile. Very fine condition.This seal is dated from the Paleo-Babylonian period. It is of a rare style, quite unusual, probably coming from the kingdom of Elam situated to the west of Iran.
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”.