Contest frieze with feather-crowned hero and bull; nude bearded heros and human-headed bulls

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between 2350 B.C. and 2250 B.C.
23.5 x 13 mm
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.
Morgan Seal 149

"In the seals deriving from the beginning of the Akkad period, the Early Dynastic frieze of closely interwoven figures gradually breaks up into two or three groups of contestants. Frequently a symetrical effect is obtained by a duplication of the human-headed bull (147-52, 154). These scenes... show the lack of cohesion in composition that is characteristic of Early Akkad seals. Equally characteristic is the more developed modeling of the figures. Lastly, a number of details serve to distinguish this class of seals: the attitudes of the heroes and of the bull-men, who often show a characteristic flexion of the elbow in reaching toward the top of the victim's head; the lion's head frequently seen from above, as in the representations of the Third Early Dynastic period; the attire of the heroes, most often plain or fringed kilts, with flat caps or feather crowns appearing in several instances."--Porada, CANES, p. 21


Feather-crowned hero grasping bull -- Two nude bearded heros each holding one of two human-headed bulls -- Small man between the human-headed bulls.

Southern Mesopotamia.