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  • High-res JPEG, 0.88 MB, 3008 × 1960 px
  • Medium, 0.61 MB, 1024 × 667 px
  • Low-res JPEG, 0.23 MB, 600 × 391 px

Details

IMAGE number
AMO2646136
Title
Cylinder Seal Impression, Akkadian (shell)
Artist
Mesopotamian
Description
A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary sites of Susa in south-western Iran and Uruk in southern Mesopotamia. They are linked to the invention of the latter’s cuneiform writing on clay tablets. They were used as an administrative tool, a form of signature, as well as jewelry and as magical amulets; later versions would employ notations with Mesopotamian cuneiform. In later periods, they were used to notarize or attest to multiple impressions of clay documents. Graves and other sites housing precious items such as gold, silver, beads, and gemstones often included one or two cylinder seals, as honorific grave goods.
Location
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford, UK
Medium
coquille
Date
2350 BC-2150 BC (C24th BC-C21st BC)
Dimensions
3.3x1.7 cms
Credit
Bridgeman Images
Keywords
  • administrative
  • amq
  • antiquities
  • antiquity
  • cuneiform
  • cylinder
  • document
  • east
  • eastern
  • figure
  • figures
  • horse
  • horses
  • impression
  • middle
  • palm
  • palms
  • plough
  • plow
  • procession
  • script
  • seal
  • semitic
  • signature
  • tool

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