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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Archive : Cylinder Seal of Dark Stone
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Cylinder Seal of Dark Stone - LK.149
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 2300 BC to 2200 BC
Dimensions: 1.6" (4.1cm) high x 1.02" (2.6cm) wide
Collection: Near Eastern Art
Medium: Dark Stone

Additional Information: sod
Location: Great Britain
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The design consists of a contest scene: three pairs of heroes fighting big animals, all on their hind legs. First (from left) a bull with a human face is grappling a lion, then a nude hero with a big beard holding an axe is grappling with another lion, and finally a second nude hero is grappling with another lion, and finally a second nude her is grappling with a buffalo.

This is an Akkadian seal from Mesopotamia, c. 2300-2200 B.C. It is in the classical Akkadian style, which, in contrast to previous Sumerian at, cultivated a naturalism, which is particularly clear in the animals here. The motivation behind this type of design in the Akkadian period was based on the state ethic of the time. The Akkadian kings ruled an empire and military might was admired. Thus the earlier Sumerian scenes showing domestic animals being protected from wild animals, especially lions, were transformed into scenes of great strength to heroism: lions being wrestled with bare hands. - (LK.149)


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