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Collections | Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets

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Scene in a Leather Workshop image

Leather Worker(?) in Rooms Framed by Serpo-Felines
Cylinder seal
Mesopotamia, Late Uruk period
(ca. 3500–3100 B.C.)
29.5 x 25 mm
Seal no. 1
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

The earliest period of urban civilization in southern Mesopotamia is named Uruk after the preeminent sanctuary town of the age. At Uruk, monumental architecture and sculpture were found in levels that also yielded cylinder seals and their impressions on clay lumps placed over cords around the necks of jars or on clay balls enclosing small counting devices. Somewhat later, cylinders were rolled onto tablets bearing the first signs of Sumerian writing.

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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.