In Ancient Mesopotamia, seals played important roles in both government and daily life. Carvings on the reverse of the seal would have made an impression when pressed into damp clay. Small seals like this one were pressed into small lumps of clay that were used to seal the lids of jars and doors of chests, identifying the owner of the sealed object and discouraging its unauthorised opening. Seals were also believed to have protective qualities and were thus punctured by a small hole to be worn as a necklace or attached to clothing as a charm.
To discover more about Ancient Mesopotamia, please visit our relevant blog post: Civilisations of the Ancient Near East and Mesopotamia.