The Jemdet Nasr Period took place in southern Mesopotamia, with a great number of administrative cuneiform tablets and seals coming from there. The stamp seal was a carved object, usually made of stone, which first appeared in the fourth millennium BC and was used to impress pictures or descriptions into soft, prepared clay. These seals guaranteed the authenticity of marked ownership: as such, they were instrumental in legal transactions, and in the protection of goods against theft. Seal amulets with stylised animals have been found throughout Mesopotamia in contexts dating to the late fourth millennium BC, although stamp seals and cylinder seals were the predominant types in the ancient Near East.
Jemdet Nasr Cylinder Seal with Geometric Motifs
A finely engraved Near Eastern alabaster cylinder seal, of the Jemdet Nasr period. The seal features a horizontal register that depicts either an abstract tree of life motif or star signs in the iconic linear style of this period. This cylinder seal has been vertically perforated.
Provenance: From the collection of a deceased gentleman pre1988, by descent to the extended family in Geneva to London.
Condition: Fine condition, with minor chipping to the rim. Impression not included.