A grey stone cylinder seal featuring two geometric designs, one on either side of the curved surface. One is composed of two diagonal lines forming a cross, with two horizontal dashes either side of the centre. The other shows a long, vertical line with many shorter, diagonal lines radiating outwards from it, and likewise two horizontal dashes at the centre. The seal is pierced for suspension and rolling. This seal resembles those used in the Akkadian Empire. This was the first ancient Semitic-speaking empire of Mesopotamia, centred in the city of Akkad and its surrounding region.
Date: Circa 2300-2000 BC Condition: Excellent condition.
A seal comprises a design carved onto a hard material: although most often made of stone, there are also examples rendered in bone, ivory, faience, glass, metal, wood, and even sun-dried or baked clay. In the ancient world, 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.
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