Bovine animals at a byre

between 3400 B.C. and 3000 B.C.
40 mm diameter
Morgan Seal 2
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"Seal 2 presents one of the stock motifs of the Uruk period--a herd of cattle before a byre. THe byre is topped by posts with rings on either side. A contemporary seal shows such posts placed at either side of a shrine. They therefore appear to be the symbols of some divine power. However, the identity of the deity, if their association is with a specific deity, remains unknown. The only unusual feature in 2 is a decorated pole in the lower field; only the top of the pole is preserved. The lozenge-like pattern may represent either the trellis work on some kind of a stockade or a mosaic like that used to decorate the walls of a court in the Eanna precinct in Uruk, dated in the beginning of the Jamdat Nasr period." Porada, CANES, p. 2-3
Lower part of seal broken off.


Upper field: two bovine animals at either side of byre topped by ringed poles; one or more stars or rosettes over back of each animal -- Lower field: at left, bovine animal; at right, human(?) figure beside pole(?) marked with lozenge-like pattern.

Southern Mesopotamia.