Cylinder seal

Near Eastern, Mesopotamian, Babylonian
Old Babylonian
1894–1595 B.C.

Object Place: Sumeria


Legacy dimension: .25 x .14 mm.

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



A bearded figure (king?) wearing round skullcap and turban, a short skirt or tunic, and a mantle holds a mace to his chest. He faces a goddess who wears a horned crown, bracelets and a flounced garment and has both hands raised. Between them appears a grasshopper and a seated dog or jackal supporting on its head a curved staff. Behind the goddess is the lion-demon standard of the Underworld god Nergal, a bull supporting a three pronged thunderbolt on its back (symbol of Adad), a goatfish (suhurmashu, symbol of Enki/Ea), a fly or bee, a frog, a small crouching mongoose, and a fish. At the end of the scene is a panel with two columns of inscription.


By 1934: R. S. Cooke Collection, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England; 1934: purchased by the MFA from Mr. Cooke.*
(Accession date: December 6, 1934)

*Seventeen seals, numbered 34.1440-34.1456 were purchased as a group for $6000.

Credit Line

Archibald Cary Coolidge Fund