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Cylinder Seal And Two Casts (Iraq)

This is a Cylinder Seal and Two Casts.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from National Museum of Natural History as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 2nd millenium BCE. Its medium is seal: worked slate; casts: plaster.

Throughout the ancient Near East, cylinder seals, made of stone, metal, or glass, were tools for marking property. Generally, the cylinder was rolled over damp or semi-hardened clay or wax, leaving a legible inscription; the piece of clay or wax was affixed to an object or sealed a door. The design on the seal was carved in recess with a flint point; different local contexts and eras produced carvings of varying quality. Records indicate both men and women in Babylon possessed at least one seal, worn as a pendant.. The Old Babylonian cuneiform inscription on this example identifies the owner of the seal as a certain Belshunu. Flanking the inscription on the cylinder seal are two figures on either side, a nude female and a horned, turban-wearing warrior god, that is, the deities Shala and Adad, as well as two other figures in long robes, probably worshippers of their cults.

It is credited Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, A207910.

  • Cuneiform Clay Tablet
  • clay/mud.
  • Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian....
  • 15.2012.3
  • Sidewall, Nofretari
  • screen printed on paper.
  • Gift of Harvey Smith and Benjamin Piazza.
  • 1952-34-4

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Its dimensions are

H x diam. (cylinder seal): 2.5 x 1.3 cm (1 in. x 1/2 in.) H x W (plaster cast): 3.8 x 7 cm (1 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.) H x W (plaster cast): 3.8 x 7 cm (1 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Cylinder Seal And Two Casts (Iraq) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 October 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>