Bactrian Bronze Quadruped Stamp Seal


A fine Western Asiatic Bactrian bronze stamp seal in the shape of a quadruped. The animal is facing left, standing on all four legs, the hind legs are now missing, with large, back-curving horns. The body is decorated with thick lines. The reverse is unadorned with the exception of a loop for suspension.

Accompanied with a paper description signed by Professor W. G. Lambert, the famous Assyriologist.

Date: Circa 2300 - 2000 BC
Condition: Good condition, hind legs are now missing consistent with age. Green patination is visible to the surface.

In stock

SKU: LD-704 Category: Tags: ,

Bactria was a historical region in Central Asia. The object belongs to a large class of compartmented seals, characteristic of this region. The stamps were frequently produced in either copper or bronze and would feature distinctive figural or geometric patterns such as floral and cross motifs, or animals such as goats, snakes, scorpions and mythical beasts. These designs would be pressed into clay or wax and were often found on pottery, largely acting as identification of ownership.

Scholars disagree about their use, with suggestions that they were used for administrative control for production and were related to a well-organised trade system which involved transporting goods across long distances. Others suggest that they were symbols of power and property, or since large numbers have similar images, have been speculated to have the apotropaic features of amulets, protecting owners from evil rather than ownership.

By the 3rd millennium BC, stamp seals of this type were replaced with cylinder seals.

Weight 12.3 g
Dimensions L 4.3 x H 4.1 cm



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