Near Eastern Art :
Neolithic Artefacts : Bird stamp seal
Bird stamp seal - D.0001
Origin: Lake Van, Anatolia
2" (5.1cm) high
x 3.25" (8.3cm) wide
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Dickite stone
Location: United States
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Dickite is a clay mineral named after the
metallurgical chemist Allan Brugh Dick, who first
described it. It is chemically composed of 20.90%
aluminium, 21.76% silicon, 1.56% hydrogen and
55.78% oxygen and it sometimes contains
impurities such as titanium, iron, magnesium,
calcium, sodium and potassium.
In 1888, Allan Brugh Dick (1833–1926), a Scottish
metallurgical chemist, was on the island of
Anglesey on the north-west coast of Wales, to
conduct research on kaolin. Dick performed
various experiments describing the clay mineral
that he encountered on the island but it was not
until 1931 that Clarence S. Ross and Paul F. Kerr
looked closer at the mineral and concluded that it
was different from the known minerals of kaolinite
and nacrite, hence they named it after the first
person to describe the mineral.
Shaped like an abstract bird, this nesting quail
stamp seal was discovered with a cache of similar
artifacts along the shores of Lake Van.
Evoking the dawn of Western culture, these stone
seals were apparently offerings at the shrine of a
local powerful nature god.
Carved with abstract simplicity but an observant
eye toward nature, the stark visual appeal of this
piece is timeless.