Old Babylonian Clay Bulla with Sealing

£ 495.00

A triangular clay bulla with a seal scene from the Old Babylonian period. An inscription is engraved along one of the sides and is placed in between three robed figures. One figure is to the left of the inscription while the other two are to the right, all are facing away from the text. The inscription mentions the goddesses Nisaba and Ashnan. The other sides are smooth and unworked. Each corner of the triangle has been pierced.

Date: Circa 1900-1700 BC
Provenance: Ex London dealer collection, acquired 1980s-2000s.
Condition: Fine condition, chip to one side.

In stock

SKU: LD-695BL Category: Tag:

Bullae are pieces of inscribed clay used for sealing documents during ancient Mesopotamia. It aloud people to authenticate their documents and packages and to prevent any tampering. Nisaba is a Sumerian goddess of writing and accounts. There is no known imagery of the goddess but only written descriptions. Nisaba was originally goddess of grain however as cuneiform text became more popular and frequent when recording such things as harvest, she was known to oversee the accounts. Her role then changed to writing, monitoring the scriptures written between people on tablets and seals. She scribed both the gods and mortals. Ashnan is the Mesopotamian goddess of grain and agriculture. It was believed she was created by Enlil to serve the gods alongside her brother Lahar, god of cattle. However, both the sibling would drink too much and were unable to fulfil their roles. Therefore, humankind was then created to serve the gods instead.

Weight 40.8 g
Dimensions L 4.6 x H 2 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


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