A Lion-Headed Eagle

A Lion-Headed Eagle Grasping Two Mountain Goats, inscribed

Cylinder seal and impression

Mesopotamia, Post-Akkadian period
ca. 2154–2100 B.C.
Steatite
30 x 17 mm
Seal no. 267
Item description: 

The beautifully incised inscription on this unique cylinder was incorporated into the design to frame the composition. It relates that the seal was created for a man who was a minor official and scribe of a purification priest of the goddess Shara. This was probably at the ancient Southern Mesopotamian city of Lagash, where Shara was the consort of the chief god, Ningursu, and where the lion-headed eagle was a favored image. The delicately worked wings of the majestic lion-headed eagle give the impression that they are spreading open.