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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Masterpieces : Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal
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Old Babylonian Cylinder Seal - LO.1089
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1900 BC to 1400 BC
Dimensions: 1.125" (2.9cm) high
Collection: Near Eastern Art
Medium: Hematite

Additional Information: f

Location: Great Britain
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‘The design consists of two standing, facing figures. On the left is the god with mace, Ninshubur, wearing a hat with a deep brim, a bib and clothes that wrap around the body and fall to just above the knees. He holds his mace at the waist. The other hand hangs down. On the right is Lamma goddess, in horned tiara and long flounced robe with necklace counterpoise hanging down at the back. She is holding up both hands in a gesture of greeting and respect. There is a crescent moon and solar disk in the sky.

The remainder of the space was originally filled with a three or four line cuneiform inscription naming the first owner of this seal. But the seal, of a hard stone, passed to a second owner who did not of course want the previous owner’s name on his seal, so it was rubbed off and only a few traces now remain.

This is an Old Babylonian seal, c.2000-1700 BC. It is fine detailed work of the highest quality and the two figures are very well preserved. The god was a messenger among the major gods of the Babylonian pantheon and the Lamma goddess was one of a large number, like female angels, supporting major gods and goddesses. The combined crescent and disc brought the power of Moon God and Sun God into the use of the seal.’

Interpretation and dating provided by Professor Lambert. - (LO.1089)


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