Animal row

between 2500 B.C. and 2350 B.C.
white marble
26 x 9 mm
Morgan Seal 104
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"Animals not engaged in contest but walking peacefully in a row do not often appear as the principal theme in Early Dynastic cylinders, although they are frequently so represented in the lower registers of the seal designs. Such rows may be survivals of the Uruk and Jamdat Nasr periods. This seems to be suggested especially by 104: both the upper and the lower registers of this seal show a shepherd driving his flock, as on the Uruk cylinder Berlin 4. Seal 103, in which the execution is linear, should be dated in the beginning of the Third or perhaps even in the Second Early Dynastic period. Seal 104, which shows a somewhat rounded engraving, can be assigned to the later phase of the Third Early Dynastic period." Porada, CANES, p. 15


Above: Herdsman driving goat -- Lion attacking sheep -- Below: Herdsman driving goat toward plant, with unidentifiable animal beyond -- Star in sky -- Band of oblique lines between registers. No common axis of scenes of upper and lower register.

Southern Mesopotamia.