Cylinder seal and modern impression: male worshiper


Cylinder seal and modern impression: male worshiper, dog surmounted by a standard

Period: Kassite

Date: ca. mid-2nd millennium B.C.

Geography: Mesopotamia

Culture: Kassite

Medium: Carnelian

Dimensions: 0.97 in. (2.46 cm)

Classification: Stone-Cylinder Seals-Inscribed

Credit Line: Gift of The Right Reverend Paul Moore Jr., 1985

Accession Number: 1985.357.44

Seal-carving styles known from the Kassite period draw upon both the rich historical traditions of Mesopotamia and the contemporary art of the broader ancient Near East. The so-called First Kassite Style harkens back to the Old Babylonian presentation scene, in which a worshiper appears before a deity, often accompanied by an inscription, but is distinguished from this earlier style by lengthy inscriptions and elongated figures.

On this First Kassite Style cylinder a male figure wearing a rounded cap and a long fringed dress stands behind an open-mouthed dog who wears a collar and has a standard on his head. The dog and standard may represent a statue or other divine symbol. The male figure is in a devotional pose and probably represents a worshipper. A five-line Sumerian inscription, carved using ancient forms of the cuneiform signs, begins behind the worshipper’s back. It reads:

Naramtum daughter of Ahuni son of Dagan-Malik servant of (the deities) Nergal (and) Mamitum

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