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Cylinder Seal with a Presentation Scene and an Inscription
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Cylinder Seal with a Presentation Scene and an Inscription


Description Conservation Provenance Inscription Credit
Description The depicted scene features an ascending sun deity, possibly Shamash, standing with his foot on a mountain. He wears a long robe and holds a dagger. A worshipper faces the and wears a long, tufted robe. An interceding goddess follows the worshippers, hands raising. The field between the standing deity and the worshipper includes an inverted crescent. The scene also incorporates a cuneiform inscription in three registers. Cylinder seals are cylindrical objects carved in reverse (intaglio) in order to leave raised impressions when rolled into clay. Seals were generally used to mark ownership, and they could act as official identifiers, like a signature, for individuals and institutions. A seal’s owner rolled impressions in wet clay to secure property such as baskets, letters, jars, and even rooms and buildings. This clay sealing prevented tampering because it had to be broken in order to access a safeguarded item. Cylinder seals were often made of durable material, usually stone, and most were drilled lengthwise so they could be strung and worn. A seal’s material and the images inscribed on the seal itself could be protective. The artistry and design might be appreciated and considered decorative as well. Cylinder seals were produced in the Near East beginning in the fourth millennium BCE and date to every period through the end of the first millennium BCE.
Conservation
Date Description Narrative
5/26/1978Treatmentother
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore, [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Transliteration, Akkadian] 1. isz-me-{d}suen 2. _dumu_ ARAD2-{d}suen 3. _ARAD2_ sza {d}suen [https://cdli.ucla.edu/search/archival_view.php?ObjectID=P272846]
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters

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Creator
Period
1970-1670 BCE (Old Babylonian)
Medium
hematite
(Precious Stones & Gems)
Accession Number
42.437
Measurements
H: 1 1/8 x W: 9/16 x Diam: 5/8 in. (2.8 x 1.5 x 1.6 cm)
Geographies
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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