Despite traditional Mesopotamian glyphic arts having remote roots in the Land of the Two Rivers, strong influences of Mesopotamian seals had a great aesthetic impact on the peripheral regions, including Syria, Egypt, Palestine, and even Crete. Stamp seals and cylinder seals yielded from these regions indicate obvious stylistic inheritances of Mesopotamian prototypes. Syrian glyphic art of the early Bronze Age presents a rather crude imitation of Mesopotamian images, and zoomorphic decorations directly borrowed from Mesopotamian designs remain in schematic compositions. In the Iron Age, Syrian glyphic art underwent a profound stylistic change with images becoming more elaborate, exhibiting a close resemblance to Babylonian and Assyrian styles. On this seal, patterns of rosettes, ibexes and the crescent are reminiscent of traditional Assyrian styles.
Syrian Limestone Stamp Seal
A finely engraved Syrian limestone stamp seal, dating to the early Iron Age. The slightly convex obverse features an engraved floral pattern, resembling Assyrian rosettes which appear on contemporary reliefs. On the reverse, an ibex is depicted in a naturalistic manner, featuring highly defined facial features and well- balanced body proportions. Great attention has been given to the depiction of its strong muscular physique. The ibex is presented elegantly turning its head to the rear, mirroring its raised tail with a widened terminal. A smaller leaping ibex, facing the opposite direction, is engraved underneath. A lunar crescent has been carved above the two animals. The seal is horizontally perforated, suggesting it might also have been worn as a personal ornament.
Condition: Very fine condition, crisp images against the stone’s natural texture