Sacred tree flanked by two worshipers

between 900 B.C. and 600 B.C.
black serpentine
43 x 18.5 mm
Morgan Seal 647
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"In 646 and 647 the motif of worshipers and sacred tree appears in the upper register, together with the figure of a king or officer making a libation. The scene in the lower register of 646, showing two bulls charging at a rosette, is comparable to that in 635. The lower register of 647, however, presents a worshiper standing before a cow that suckles a calf while being mounted by a bull. This scene suggests a rural ritual connected with animal husbandry."--Porada, CANES, p. 76-77
Cylinder chipped.


Above: tree flanked by two worshipers, each grasping one of two streams falling from winged sun disk above tree -- Stand with vessels before king or officer with cup and bow, star above plant behind him -- Crescent and seven globes in sky -- Below: worshiper before cow suckling calf and mounted by bull -- Tasseled spade before kneeling bull -- In sky: crescent; wedge; star, seven globes; indeterminable sign (before worshiper).

Southern Mesopotamia.