Lion-headed eagle clutching hindquarters of two ibexes

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between 2139 and 2113 B.C.
dark-grey steatite
30 x 17 mm
Morgan Seal 267
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"Seals 264-266, each of which presents a frieze with an eagle in the center, are characterized as Post-Akkad stones by their deeply incised engraving. Moreover, the eagle in 264 and 265 corresponds with a similar figure in Berlin 247, a seal showing in its lower register the birds found to be distinctive of Post-Akkad cylinders (258, 260). Of this group, 267 is the only seal that shows a continuation of Akkad style. It is included here because of its Sumerian inscription, which is typically Post-Akkad. The subject of the seal, a lion-headed eagle clutching animals, is an Early Dynastic theme found especially on the monuments of Lagash, where it still persisted in Post-Akkad times. For example, the theme is treated in a manner similar to that of this seal, but with lions replacing the ibexes, on a stele of Gudea, a ruler of Lagash in the latter part of the Post-Akkad period. It seems possible, therefore, that 267 was made at Lagash in or about the time of Gudea." Porada, CANES, p. 32


Lion-headed eagle clutching hindquarters of two ibexes -- Terminal: inscription.

Southern Mesopotamia.