Hittite Stamp Seal


An exquisite Hittite brown hardstone stamp seal, featuring a beautifully rendered composition. At the centre, is a naturalistically depicted leaping quadruped, possibly an ibex. Great attention has been given to the depiction of its anatomical features and crossed etched lines decorate its body. The animal has a long neck and a well-proportioned head with both ears erect with what appears to be short, curved horns. The forelimbs are slightly bent at the knees, while the hind legs are extended naturally, capturing its jumping movement. Below are two small recumbent most likely younger quadrupeds,, facing the opposite direction. A crescent and a star, similar to the Mesopotamian religious symbol Dingir, are carved above the animals.

The reverse has been left plain and is slightly domed. The seal has been pierced for suspension suggesting it was worn as a personal amulet.

Date: 2nd Millennium BC
Condition: Very fine condition, crisp images against the stone’s natural texture


SKU: GL-21 Category: Tag:

Stamp seals first appeared in Mesopotamia around early the 6th millennium BC. They were used as an administrative tool, acting as a signature, for stamping on clay surfaces, as were the cylinder seals invented in the 4th millennium BC. Traditional Mesopotamian seals had a profound aesthetic influence on the peripheral regions, among which Anatolian stamp seals inherited most of the typical features from the Old Assyrian period (circa 2000-1700 BC).

The Dingir symbol had various uses, comprised of a crescent moon and star it was originally used as a ideogram to represent the sky and heavens. Its use was later extended to a phonogram to represent a god or goddess, specifically the supreme deity of the Sumerian pantheon; An. The two concepts, of the heavens and divinity, were closely intertwined with the cuneiform sign for the divine being also used to represent the heavens. The Dingir was a motif commonly used on seals.

Weight 4 g
Dimensions L 1.5 x W 1.3 cm



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