The Jemdet Nasr Period took place in southern Mesopotamia, modern day Iraq, 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 the 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.
Jemdet Alabaster Lion Seal
A Jemdet seal-amulet finely carved in alabaster and featuring a vertical perforation to accommodate the suspension hoop. It is cut in the form of half a lion’s protome: the left half of the head of the beast is perfectly rendered in three dimensions while the other half is flat. Simple and linear features combined with the precised and detailed representation of the anatomy are the principal characteristics of the animal representations of the Jemdet Nasr period. Here, for instance, the structure of the lion’s crane is entirely sculpted and the ear is prominently shown. The base is drilled with abstract shapes.
Condition: Fine, with slight irregularities on the surface.
|Dimensions||W 4.5 cm|
Near East (Western Asiatic)