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A Winged Hero Pursuing Two Ostriches
Cylinder seal and impression
Mesopotamia, Middle Assyrian period
(ca. 1250–1150 B.C.)
31 x 14 mm
Seal no. 606
Inscription abraded in antiquity.
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »
In one of the most striking of the Morgan's Middle Assyrian
seals, a hero pursues an adult ostrich, possibly representing
the earthly equivalent of the griffin, the conveyor of death.
The fleeing ostrich, with its head turned back in fear and
fury and its feathers bristling, ranks among the greatest
Mesopotamian depictions of animals. In the biblical Book of
Job (39:13–17), the ostrich is considered a malevolent creature
because it disdains its young, which may account for the
presence of the young ostrich and enhances our understanding
of this extraordinary seal.
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