Shaped like an abstract bird, this ancient votive seal was discovered with a cache of similar artifacts along the shores of Lake Van. Evoking the dawn of Western culture, these apparently were offerings at the shrine of some powerful nature god. The design that adorns them—of birds, animals, seated idols—probably stood in proxy for more costly sacrifices. Pressed into soft clay or wax, they would have created multiple images to win the favor of the god. It is possible that the bird, a recurring motif, was associated with the idea of the soul. Carved with abstract simplicity but an observant eye toward nature, the stark visual appeal of this piece is timeless. These seals represent dreams, hopes and aspirations for health, success, and happiness that are as old as civilization itself.