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HOME : Jewelry and Seals : Cylinder Seal Pendants : Gold Pendant Featuring a Black Diorite Cylinder Seal
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Gold Pendant Featuring a Black Diorite Cylinder Seal - FJ.5464
Origin: Syria
Circa: 1900 BC to 1300 BC

Collection: Jewelry
Medium: Diorite/Gold

Location: United States
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This genuine ancient cylinder seal has been mounted in a modern 18 karat gold pendant.

As their name implies, cylinders seals are cylinders, generally of stone, that were carved with a design so that when they are rolled out on clay a continuous impression in relief is produced. They were usually pierced lengthwise so that they could be worn on a pin or string, or mounted on a swivel. Cylinder seals were developed during the second half of the fourth millennium B.C. in southern Mesopotamia and in southwestern Iran as a convenient way of covering large areas of clay used for sealing storeroom locks, goods carried in jars, bags, boxes or baskets and--above all--the clay tablets used for about 3,000 years as the main vehicle for cuneiform writing. The designs on cylinder seals are a valuable source of information for scholars today. They chronicle developments in the iconography of deities, mythology and daily life as well as recording special events. This extraordinary cylinder seal features three standing figures. Two of the figures raise their arms toward a stylized tree, perhaps the symbolic tree of life. The other figure, with arms also upraised, faces a goat whose animated body rises on hind legs toward the figure. Skillful carving breathes life into this ancient scene, at once filling us with wonder and awe as we contemplate the meaning of this potent imagery. Whatever the ancient symbolism represented on this seal, it is an extraordinary work of art in its own right, evidencing the aesthetic sensibilities of a culture whose legacy includes not only fine artworks such as this, but also the very origins of writing itself. - (FJ.5464)


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