Sasanian Stamp Seal


An agate stamp seal dating from the Sasanian Empire period, engraved with a depiction of a bird standing legs apart and wings spread. The carving technique for this design involved short and quick blade strikes highlighting the anatomical features including the direction of the feathers. The stone is pierced horizontally for suspension.

Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD
Condition: Excellent Condition


SKU: SA-15 Category: Tags: ,

Mesopotamia has been regarded as the cradle of ancient glyphic arts, with the earliest cylinder seals proven to have been firstly executed during the Bronze Age, circa 4th Millennium BC. Each following a period in Ancient Mesopotamian history contributed in developing styles and techniques of glyphic arts. Zoomorphic, mythical creatures and religious scenes became one of the most favoured decorative repertoires applied on cylinder seals. The Sasanian Empire, also referred to as the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, rose from an Iranian power. After having succeeded over the Parthian Empire, it became the last Persian imperial dynasty and political power to rule in the region of the Near East and western Asia before the arrive of Islam.

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. Commonly, these seals were fastened around the neck for easy access. The engraving of stylised animals left an impression significant to a signature. The round shape and animal motif were strong Sasanian characteristics.

Weight 6.2 g
Dimensions L 1.6 x W 1.4 cm



Reference: For Similar: The Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art, Item F1993.15.47