Middle East, Cylinder Seal


Middle East, Cylinder Seal (obverse) Middle East, Cylinder Seal (reverse)

Seals belong to the very early inventions of mankind. They were used to distinguish property and to identify the person or clan that owned it. Seals also had protective character in the sense of charms. And besides these practical aspects, seals had artistic value – they were adornments and indicated the social status of their owner. Initially, seals did not show a broad spectrum of patterns, because their use was still exceptional; simple arrangements of lines would do. Later however, when the use of seals became more common, more elaborated patterns and easily distinguishable decorations became necessary. From the 4th millennium BC, detailed designs appeared on seals – mainly very stylized animals and geometrical compositions. From then on little pieces of art were created, one of them this pretty cylindrical seal from the 2nd millennium BC.


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