Cylinder seal

Near Eastern, Mesopotamian, Sumerian
2112–2004 B.C.

Object Place: Sumerian/ Babylonian


Legacy dimension: H. 3.1 cm Diameter 1.8 cm [/] 0.031.1

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Black steatite

Not On View


The Ancient World



Presentation scene. Enthroned divinity with horned headdress surmounted by crescent, probably the Moon god Nanna/Sin, holding handled cup in one hand, is approached by a female tutelary divinity with long garment and horned headdress holding by hand a worshipper (owner of seal?). Solar disk inscribed in crescent between the two deities in the upper field, and a long vessel in the lower. Three columns of inscription in Sumerian: “Urnanshe, son of Merkagina, chief of the ‘tailors’.” The seal probably originates in Lagash where both the names Urnanshe and Merkagina are attested.


By 1930: Edward Jackson Holmes Collection; 1930: given to the MFA by Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes, 10 March 1965.

Credit Line

Bequest of Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes, Edward Jackson Holmes Collection