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.
Near Eastern Cylinder Seal with Hunting Scene
A carved bone cylinder seal featuring a detailed design showing an ibex at the centre of the scene, flanked by standing human figures on either side, and a stylised palmette. The image may depict a hunting scene or a sacrifice. 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.
Condition: Very fine condition.