Et Tu Antiquities

Ancient Cylinder and Stamp Seals

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Ancient Cylinder and Stamp Seals   [ without thumbnail images ]

Cream Marble with Black and red speckles, Akkadian.
c. 2500 – 2350 B.C.
26 x 17 mm.

Contest scene of a man, facing r. and a deer rearing l. Behind the deer, a lion, l. rearing. Behind, a second man, r. holding the tail of the lion. To r. a third man and deer rearing struggle before a plant. This is a fairly well recognized Akkadian style of contest scenes, with several struggles happening on a single example. The condition of the piece is XF – XF+.

Cf: Porada, PM 140 (var.)



Lapis. Old Babylonian Period.
1900 – 1650 B.C.
32 x 16 mm.

The god Adad, (god of weather) stands l. with r. arm outstretched holding a forked scepter. Before him are two naga, both facing r. The first is being presented to the god, the second behind has her hands raised in supplication.

Three line inscription behind:

Kishib [sha] …             “The seal of …
UR d. …                      Ur of …
LUGAL …                     Master (Lord) of …

Heavily damaged example.  The inscription on this example follows a very uncommon pattern for the period, that is:

Kishib [sha]
Personal Name

The damage on the example is quite extensive, with only about ½ the seal readable. As well, there is a crack along the bottom portion of the seal that runs clearly through the example.

cf: Yale, 892 (var.)



Steatite. Syria/Southern Mesopotamia. Proto-literate period.
Late 4th millinium B.C.
45 x 42 mm.

Hemispheroid stamp seal with hatch marks running vertically and horizontally.

Scarcer example of stamp seals in the region, however these were still produced widely in period. Condition of this example is hindered because of a deposit on the back of the seal (hardened river sediment).  Otherwise a VF example.

For type, please see:
Ashmolean II, 30



Steatite. Syria/Southern Mesopotamia. Proto-literate period.
Late 5th - early 3rd millinium B.C.
45 x 40 mm.

Gable seal. Running Ibex right with vegetation below.

Fairly common example produced over a large period of time. The seal was probably broken on the upper right hand side, losing about 15 mm. of area in that portion of the seal. Serious wear is evident on the back of the seal, where the central hole has been exposed several mm. on the bottom of the piece.

cf: Ashmolean II, 98 and 107 for similar.


click here to order Seal-3

Blue Glass. Late Neo-Assyrian/Pre-Achaemenid period.
750 – 550 B.C.
23 x 16 mm.

Conical stamp seal with concaved face. Faint impression of a man, carved in linear style facing left and a deer bucking, facing right.

A scarcer example than other stamp seals of the era, in part because of the material used to make the seal. Condition of the seal itself is VG; though the shadow of the bucking deer is evident with enough study.

cf: Rost, 476,477 for variation of type.


click here to order Seal-4

Steatite. Syria/Southern Mesopotamia. Proto-literate period.
Late 5th - early 3rd millinium B.C.
27 mm.

Hemispheroid seal of a quadruped animal with horns and a tail facing left.

While these type seals are fairly common, this particular example’s iconography is dissimilar to others noted in major collections from the period. Condition of the piece is VF+, with wear evident on the central hole on both entrance points. Otherwise a pleasing example with uncommon iconography to period.

Ashmolean II -. Erlenmeyer -. Homes Fredericq -. Rost -. 



Tan River Stone. Syria/Southern Mesopotamia. Proto-literate period.
Late 5th - early 3rd millinium B.C.
36 x 30 mm.

Rectangular stamp seal with hatch mark lines and drill points.

An interesting early example, in the shape of a plaque. Condition of the example is VF; hampered in part by wear on the central hole on both ends and obvious deterioration on the face of the seal.

cf: Yale 12 a (var.)


click here to order Seal-10

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