Pyramidal seal with birds preying on a goat

Near Eastern, Iranian, Persian
Achaemenid Period
550–331 B.C.


Length x width: 23 x 19 mm (7/8 x 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Intaglio. Pierced for stringing but perforation does not go all the way through. Motif is orientated horizontally. Dead goat, lying on its back with head at left is being devoured by two birds of prey swooping in from the left and right. In the center, between the birds, is a three-branched tree. There are two ground lines under the goat that approximate irregular terrain.


By 1893: with Edward Perry Warren (according to his records it came from a Turk of Constantinople who said he had it from Bagdad); 1895: purchased by MFA from Edward Perry Warren for $ 29,857.37 (this figure is the total price for MFA 95.9-95.174)

Credit Line

Catharine Page Perkins Fund