The earliest zoomorphic stamp seals appear to have first been produced in Ancient Mesopotamia, from the 7th millennium BC onwards, usually pierced for suspension and worn around the neck as an identity marker. Seals engraved with depiction of animals, such as recumbent rams, fish or lions, are testimony to the cultural syncretism of Ancient Mesopotamian glyphic art. Stylistically, seals from the Jemdet Nasr period appear adherent to Uruk tradition, however in a less elaborate form. Stamp and cylinder seals from the Uruk/Jemdet Nasr period possess extremely significant cultural value, not only testifying the development of Mesopotamian glyphic art, but also inspiring the glyphic art of the later Early Dynastic and Akkadian periods.
Jemdet Nasr Alabaster Seal Amulet of a Recumbent Bovid
A finely executed alabaster seal amulet, naturalistically styled in the form of a recumbent bovid. It features typical aesthetic traces that are distinctive of the Jemdat Nasr period (circa 3300-2900 BC). The bovid is engraved from a single piece of alabaster with a smooth body outline, portrayed in an elegant recumbent pose. Its head is depicted in a triangular shape, on which its ears and nose are sculpted in detail. Its two round eyes are hollowed, suggesting inlays of precious or semi-precious stones might have been embedded, a typical fashion employed in the Jemdat Nasr period. On the bottom, two zoomorphic representations, conveyed in an abstract glyptic manner are arranged in a vertical pictorial composition.
This seal is horizontally perforated, suggesting it might have been worn as an ornamental amulet as well.
Provenance: Ex private London collection, S.M.
Condition: Very fine condition, with aged wearing visible on the surface
|Dimensions||L 2.2 x W 1.8 x H 1.3 cm|
Near East (Western Asiatic)