The Jemdet Nasr period took place in southern Mesopotamia, known as Iraq today, with a great number of administrative cuneiform tablets and seals coming from there. The stamp seal was a carved object, usually made of stone, which first appeared in the fourth millennium BC and was used to impress pictures or descriptions into soft, prepared clay. These seals guaranteed the authenticity of marked ownership: as such, they were instrumental in legal transactions, and in the protection of goods against theft. Seal amulets with stylised animals have been found throughout Mesopotamia in contexts dating to the late fourth millennium BC, although stamp seals and cylinder seals were the predominant types in the ancient Near East. Ancient Mesopotamia has been credited as the cradle of glyptic art. Engraving semi-precious gems stones with simple geometric and elaborate figurative representations on semi-precious and precious stones with carving skills, can be traced back as early as the Uruk period (circa 4000-3500 BC). Different from the style presented on Uruk seals, Jemdet Nasr period developed an unique glyptic expression with much recourse to abstract designs.
Agate Jemat Nasr Stamp Seal with Zoomorphic Design
A plano-convex veined agate stone Jemdat Nasr stamp seal, which has been pierced for suspension. The base features zoomorphic representations, with the bodies’ outlines expressed in globular and liner silhouettes, attesting to the iconic glyptic practices of Jemdat Nasr tradition.
Provenance: Acquired 1970-1999. London collection of the late Mr S.M., thence by descent.
Condition: Very fine condition, with minor cracks around the edge. This seal features the attractive natural, veined texture of the original stone.
|Dimensions||W 3.8 x H 1.4 cm|
Near East (Western Asiatic)