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Collections | Ancient Near Eastern Seals & Tablets

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A Lion-Headed Eagle Grasping Two Mountain Goats, inscribed
Cylinder seal and impression
Mesopotamia, Post-Akkadian period
(ca. 2154–2100 B.C.)
30 x 17 mm
Seal no. 267
See CORSAIR catalog record for this item »

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.

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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.