Contest frieze with lions, bull, and mouflon

between 2700 B.C. and 2500 B.C.
white marble
25 mm diameter
Morgan Seal 51
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

Only upper part preserved.
"Deep parallel lines marking animal bodies and indicating fur or hair, as in 51,... are characteristic of this period... The deep linear engraving of this seal is in keeping with the style of the period. For the large plant, parallels can be found in contemporary impressions from Fara (Heinrich, Fara, pls. 47i, 60g). The strictly balanced group of lions with ruminants does not appear as a sole theme in any other example of the Second Early Dynastic period. As a rule it was used in this manner only at the end of the Third Early Dynastic and at the beginning of the Akkad period." Porada, CANES, p. 10


Two crossed lions, one seizing bull, one grasping mouflon -- Terminal: plant.

Southern Mesopotamia.