Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Cylinder Seals at the Morgan Library

     The Morgan Library has a number of cylinder seals. The one illustrated here shows a winged human fighting a lion while the human continues to show his dominion over a bull. The seal is made of a red substance (the label does not specify what the seal is made of). When it was rolled over a soft substance like clay, the image in the grey rectangles appears.

     In ancient times, this type of seal would be used to mark a wine jar, jewelry box or anything along these lines as belonging to whoever owned the seal that was rolled over the clay on the object in question. Perhaps the lid of a jewelry box could be "locked" by tying the lid to the box itself and then putting soft clay over the string and rolling the seal over the clay. If anyone opened the box, it would be obvious as the clay seal would be broken.

     Unfortunately, there is no date given on the label for this seal.

Copyright (c) 2015 by John Freed

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