Urartian Iron-Age Bronze Stamp Seal

£ 235.00

A bronze stamp seal of rectangular shape, from the Iron Age Kingdom of Urartu. The seal is decorated on all four sides and features the depiction of a winged quadruped on the base, and a loop for suspension to the top. The symbols engraved on the sides can be identified as a worshipper facing right with one arm raised, a scene with two creatures flanking a tree under a lunar crescent, a winged mythological creature and a tree of life, the meaning of which is still unknown and a much debated subject upon scholars. Despite details being a bit worn, this seal represents a rich and interesting hallmark of Near Eastern glyphic art. Similar seals, but in a cylinder shape, have been excavated at Karmir Blur and Toprakkale in Urartu, and at Igydr and Kelankran in the southern Caucasus, made there under Urar­tian influence.

Date: Circa 8th-7th century BC.
Condition: Fine, surface worn due to ageing. Light olive green patination inside some engravings.
Product Code: NES-74
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In the ancient world, seals guaranteed the authenticity of marked ownership. As such, they were instrumental in legal transactions, and in the protection of goods against theft. Mesopotamia has been regarded as the cradle of ancient glyphic arts, with the earliest cylinder seals proven to have been firstly executed during the Bronze Age, circa 4th Millennium BC. Each following period in ancient Mesopotamian history contributed in developing styles and techniques of glyphic arts. Zoomorphic, mythical creatures and religious or cultic scenes are one of the most favoured decorative repertoires applied on seals of the period.

Urartu, also known as the Kingdom of Urartu or the Kingdom of Van, was a civilization, which developed in the Bronze and Iron Age of ancient Armenia, eastern Turkey. The name of the geographic region Urartu comes from Assyrian sources. Urartian art was heavily influenced by neighbouring Assyria, hence the similarities in some of its art. Urartian craftsmen have been characterised by practising the copying of old examples instead of improving them, as well as their preference for ornamental rather than representational scenes of life, as most commonly seen in Assyrian art.

Dimensions H 2.8 cm

Near East (Western Asiatic)



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