Sumerian Jemdet Nasr Limestone Stamp Seal with Animals


A Sumerian limestone stamp seal from the Jemdet Nasr period featuring a domed shape which has been perforated through the centre for suspension, now blocked. The flat base is enriched with two quadruped animals created using the drilling technique. Both are in a leaping position with the front legs extended. One displays large, curved horns possible an ibex however, both have curving, upwards tails. The seal is accompanied with a professionally baked impression.

Date: Circa 3300 - 2900 BC
Provenance: From a Cotswold, UK, collection, 1980’s
Condition: Fine condition, wear consistent with age. The weight of the seal alone is 21.8g

In stock

SKU: LD-718 Category: Tag:

Sumer is the earliest known civilisation in the historical region of Mesopotamia, settled by humans circa 4500-4000 BC, founded in the region of the Fertile Crescent. Their control of the region lasted for around 2000 years, before the Babylonians settled in 2004 BC. The Jemdet Nasr Period took place in southern Mesopotamia with in the Sumerian culture. A great number of administrative cuneiform tablets and seals came from this period. 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.

For more about stamp seals, see our relevant blog post: Making their Mark

Weight 32.3 g
Dimensions W 3.4 cm



Reference: For a similar item,Christie’s, London, 25th October 2012, lot 1

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