Worshiper Led by Goddess Toward Enthroned God, inscribed

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drab jasper
Overall: 1 1/4 × 13/16 in. (3.2 × 2 cm)
The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York
Morgan Seal 277

The religious sentiment of the period is profoundly visualized on this seal. The enthroned deity on the right receives a worshiper led by an interceding goddess. The deity is characterized by his erect posture, long flowing beard, and the steady gaze of his eye fully sculpted in profile. The scene is remarkable for the interaction of the figures expressed by their gestures, specifically through their delicately carved hands. Commerce was crucial to the success of the Third Dynasty of Ur; the inscription on the seal identifies its owner as a trader.

Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908

"The type of scene most frequently found on cylinders of the Third Dynasty of Ur shows a minor goddess leading a worshiper by the hand toward an enthroned deity (277-287), who is more often female than male. Usually the throne resembles a shrine. This scheme is derived from such Akkad seals as 190, with the difference that now the enthroned deities are rarely identified by the objects they hold or by other distinctive features of their appearance. A crescent is usually placed in the sky before the enthroned deity; often a bird or some other animal appears near the knees of the figure."--Porada, CANES, p. 35


Worshiper led by minor goddess toward enthroned god; before latter, star disk in crescent, staff, vase -- Terminal: inscription in panel over kneeling bull.