A hero, weapon raised at left, comes to the aid of some cattle whose peaceful grazing has been interrupted by attacking lions. The scene has been interpreted as representing one of the great mythic dramas of Sumerian religion: the eternal, cyclical struggle between forces of order and chaos. In the scene, the lions represent the chaos of the natural world while the domesticated animals and man represent the forces of order and the attempt to impose order on the world around them. The violent action is always shown in progress; the battle is never resolved; the struggle is constant.
Ancient cylinder seal with modern impression: Kilted Hero Attacking Felines Menacing Horned Animals; Human-Headed Bull Below Empty Space; Mesopotamia, Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2600–2334 BC). Lapis lazuli, 7/8 x 9/16 in. (2.2 x 1.4 cm). Morgan Seal 85. Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.