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Collections | Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets

Views: List | Single work | Overview Zoom+ Rotate iconRotate seal

King Standing on Sphinxes and Holding a Lion in Each Hand; Palm Tree with Winged Sun Disk Above
Cylinder seal and impression
Persia, Achaemenid period
(ca.550–330 B.C.)
32 x 15 mm
Seal no. 824
Rotate seal
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Even though cylinder seals had been carved in Mesopotamia for over three thousand years, the form was by no means exhausted by the time of the Persian conquest. Some of the most exquisite cylinders were produced in the Achaemenid workshops. On this seal it is no longer the nude bearded hero of the Akkadians who dominates the animals, but the Achaemenid king himself in a beautifully balanced yet artificial composition in which all elements are subservient to and a reflection of the king's majesty.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.