Cylinder Seal


From: Iraq | Ur

Curatorial Section: Near Eastern

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Object Number 30-12-3
Current Location Collections Storage
Provenience Iraq | Ur
Archaeology Area PG 1237 | Old Body #22, New Body #61
Locus Pg 1237/22
Period Early Dynastic IIIB
Date Made 2500-2340 BCE
Section Near Eastern
Materials Lapis Lazuli

CBS Register. Ur 1928-9, Season VII. Cylinder Seal.. lapis. Banquet scene and crossed animals. (30-12-551).

This lapis lazuli seal was found associated with one of the most elaborately adorned of the 68 female victims in the “Great Death Pit.” She wore the full complement of gold, lapis lazuli, carnelian, and marble headgear and jewelry. In addition, a gold pin with a lapis lazuli ball head and a silver pin with a lapis lazuli had held her cloak together. Perhaps this lapis lazuli cylinder seal was suspended from one of these. Next to her was a silver tumbler.

This double-register cylinder seal shows a summarily carved composition. In the top register, an unusual version of the banquet scene is depicted, showing two seated female celebrants, both facing left, each raising a vessel. A servant stands behind a table holding breads. In the lower register, an animal combat is shown. The combination of banquet and combat scenes is unusual but not unique on cylinder seals and other artifacts. The significance of the association is unknown. It has been suggested that these seals designated offices responsible for the economies both inside and outside of the court, but it is unclear what the elaborate adornment of the seal’s owner can tell us above her official responsibilities.

Length 4.5 cm
Outside Diameter 2 cm
Credit Line British Museum/University Museum Expedition to Ur, Iraq, 1930
Other Number U.12380 - Field No SF | B17722 - Old Museum Number | P270233 - CDLI Number

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