The Penn Museum will be reopening to the public on July 28. Learn more.

Seal Impression

This object is On Display

View All (6) Object Images

Object Number:B11158
Current Location: Middle East Galleries
Currently On Display
Provenience: Iraq
Period: Pre-Sargonic
Credit Line:Babylonian Expedition to Nippur I,1889
Other Number:PBS XIV: 176 - Other Number
P266319 - CDLI Number


CBS Register: Fr. of a clay label, with two rows of figures. Pre-Saronic

PBS XIV: A mythological scene in two registers, above the celestial court and below the birdman brought in judgment.

The upper register shows an assembly of three or four seated gods, attended by three worshipers or divine attendants. All wear the horned mitre (?) and the flounced Sumerian skirt. The first god, facing toward the right, has another figure, perhaps a goddess seated in his lap. This group closely resembles a rare composition of Etana carried to heaven by the eagle. The second god is perhaps Shamash with the flaming wings. The third is probably Ea holding to his breast the spouting vase. The last seated god is very indistinct.

In the lower register a seated god very indistinct is approached by a procession of figures among which are two birdmen. The leader has a flounced Sumerian skirt, a club on his shoulder and perhaps a short stick in the other hand. The two birdmen are not bound like prisoners, but carry two weapons, one on each shoulder, a round headed club, and a stick. The first with head turned back seems to master or lead the second. The three last figures are carriers dressed and armed like the leader. Hanging from crooked sticks over their shoulders are first a net with fruits or some provisions, next a bunch of dates and a small bird – a birdman (?) – last an indistinct object, all of which seem to be symbols of a fruitful vegetation, and protection against damages done by the winged enemies.

This archaic composition , although incomplete and defaced, is rich in details. Seal impress. on a fragment of clay bulla with marks of strings at the back. Nippur, 1889.

Current & Past Exhibitions:

Middle East Galleries (21 Apr 2018) View Objects in Exhibition


[Web Site] Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative: Archival View of P266319.. Actual CitationView Objects related to this Actual Citation
[Book] Legrain, Leon. 1925. The Culture of the Babylonians.. The University Museum, Publications of the Babylonian Section. Vol. XIV. View Objects related to this

You may also be interested in these objects:

See a problem? Let us know