Sumerian haematite seal with introitus scene, circa 2300-1600 B.C.

In Antiquity, whether in Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, or Ancient Egypt, it was common for senior officials to make their own seals to create their administrative signatures. These seals, which could have an administrative function, really the only assured function we know of them is that of unequivocally identifying the owner. In the scene we see a narrative image, not just a brand, which configures what is called an introitus scene, possibly the representation of a Sumerian monarch. Although these seals are common at the time, few are made in a magnificent manufacture like this and with this exceptional state of conservation.


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