Period: Old Syrian
Date: ca. 1820–1730 B.C.
Dimensions: H. 0.8 in. (2 cm)
Classification: Stone-Cylinder Seals
Credit Line: Purchase, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Gift, 1991
Accession Number: 1991.368.5
In the area that corresponds roughly with the boundaries of modern Syria and Lebanon, there arose in the first half of the second millennium B.C. many centers of culture that maintained contact with lands both to the east and the west. The seals produced in this region—in a number of local styles—often bear imagery and stylistic features that relate them to Egyptian and Aegean art.
The main scene on this cylinder seal depicts a worshiper (probably the king) before a divinity seated above two human-headed bulls. The god is enthroned on a stool with lion legs of a type known from actual contemporary remains in wood and ivory from both Egypt and Anatolia. The smaller images include a sphinx wearing an Egyptian crown, and an ankh, the Egyptian symbol for life, in the field.