Goats Before a Shrine

Download image: 
white marble
Overall: 1 9/16 × 1 3/8 in. (4 × 3.6 cm)
The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Morgan Seal 23

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.

Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908

"A row of animals in conjunction with a shrine, as found in 22-25, is a typical theme of the Jamdat Nasr period. It is generally assumed that this row denotes a temple herd." Porada, CANES, p. 6


Shrine before three goats placed over undulating lines -- In field: two pots.