Ancient Near East, Assyrian Empire, ca. 3rd to 2nd millennium BCE. A black stone cylinder seal drilled through for suspension and / or ease of rolling that depicts two animals interacting with two standing human figures. Comes with an impression on a piece of clay. Size: 0.45" W x 1" H (1.1 cm x 2.5 cm)
Cylinder seals played a major role in the daily life of the Mesopotamians. Known as kishib in Sumerian and kunukku in Akkadian, royals, government officials, scribes, and slaves used them to transact business and send correspondence. They were worn around the neck or wrist and served as a signature and a guarantee, rolled into the moist clay of accounting and governance documents. They also link our modern world to the past - thousands of years ago, people were concerned with security and authenticity for the documents that they used to conduct business. Cylinder seals were the solution to a pressing problem, and their scenes are often complex to prevent forgery and identity individuals.
Provenance: private Carlton Collection, Los Angeles, California, acquired between 1965 and 1980
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