Ancient Mesopotamia 3300-331 B.C.E.: Arts Research Article from World Eras

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The Earliest Seals. The impressing of carved stones into clay to seal containers had a long tradition in Mesopotamia, with the earliest evidence found in Syria and dating to the seventh millennium B.C.E. In the fourth millennium B.C.E. various styles of stamp seals were made. In northern Mesopotamia, seals, which probably also served as amulets, were shaped like animals and may have represented votive offerings of the animals depicted since they are found in temples such as at Tell Brak. Northern Mesopotamian stamp seals of other shapes had animal motifs carved on them. In southern Mesopotamia stamp seals also had animal motifs, while in neighboring regions of Iran, geometric, animal, human, and demonic imagery —as well as heroes with animals—appeared on stamp seals.

Cylinder Seals. During the second half of the fourth millennium B.C.E., stamp seals were largely...

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