Development at Tell Billa and Tepe Gawra

Originally Published in 1932

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Drawings of cylinder seal impressions
Plate X — Drawings of Cylinder Seal Designs, Tepe Gawra, Iraq

A CABLE recently received from Dr. E. A. Speiser reports the finding at Tell Billa of a splendidly colored hæmatite figurine of a bull with gold trappings; also another gold carving from a tomb, and a number of Assyrian tablets. At Tepe Gawra has been discovered a beautifully carved small ivory plaque of the prehistoric period.

A report received prior to the cable announces further excavation of the Assyrian stratum at Tell Billa. Here plans have been disclosed with gratifying completeness, especially where the buildings were protected by the elevation of the site.

At Tepe Gawra, cylinder seals were of major interest in the final stages of clearing stratum six. Dating from the early Sumerian period, many of them had evidently been imported from the south, while others retained many local peculiarities in theme and motive. In one, a pig-tailed hero faces a heraldic group consisting of two crossed lions flanked by a pair of tags, which the lions are in the process of devouring. This seal is of marble and in a marvellous state of preservation. A drawing of it is shown in Plate X together with another one which represents a horned deity receiving a procession that is led by a horned and armed dignitary bringing on a worshipper, who in turn leads a sacrificial goat; in the background are a winged steer, a heron, and a little human figure which faces the Venus star; these secondary figures are apparently principally intended to fill in the space and to lend harmony and symmetry to the entire composition.

Cite This Article

"Development at Tell Billa and Tepe Gawra." Museum Bulletin III, no. 3-4 (January, 1932): 94-95. Accessed July 23, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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