Sumerian Alabaster Cylinder Seal


Sumerian Alabaster Cylinder Seal

An ancient Sumerian green alabaster cylinder seal. The scene carved on the seal depicts two crossed rearing lions attacking two horned animals, a male figure (possibly the god Dumuzi) with spiky hair bearing a dagger, and to his right another pair of crossed lions. A crescent and star form the terminal.

Early Dynastic II-III,
ca. 2700-2400 BC.
Height: 1 5/8 in. (4.0 cm).

Dumuzi (later Hebrew form: Tammuz) was the shepherd-god, protector of the flocks. He was the husband of the goddess Innana, and as Sumerian kings were ritually married to Innana, so they were identified with Dumuzi.

Dumuzi: Cf. J. Black and A. Green, eds., Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, (1995), pp. 72-73.

Formerly in the M. S. collection, New York; previously in the Erlenmeyer collection, Basel, Switzerland, acquired between 1943 and 1960.

Inv#: 7137


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