Head of nude bearded hero

between 1000 B.C. and 700 B.C.
brown jasper
25 x 13 mm
Morgan Seal 687
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"The motif of 687, which shows the heads of a bearded hero and of a lion-griffin, may be meant to symbolize a contest between these two mythological characters, as fully rendered in realistic fashion on Middle Assyrian pieces like 596. The detached head of a bearded hero is frequently found in Mitannian seal designs (Nuzi 774-776), though Neo-Assyrian cylinders so far as now known fail to provide a parallel. On the other hand, the head was used in Neo-Assyrian times as a decoration; it appears on the back of a chariot in a scene on one of the bronze bands of the gates of Shalmaneser III."--Porada, CANES, p. 82


Head of nude bearded hero -- Crescent above spade on stand -- Head of lion-griffin -- Star above lozenge.

Southern Mesopotamia.