Hero with bow and quiver grasping ostrich

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between 701 B.C. and 601 B.C.
37 x 17 mm
Morgan Seal 773
Acquired by Pierpont Morgan sometime between 1885 and 1908.

"The central element of the ritual scenes of 770-775 is the sacred tree. In these designs it is rendered in three different ways, namely: with graceful streamers and volutes (770); within the net of lines that may connote irrigation canals surrounded by shoots (772, 773); and realistically as a palm tree (774, 775). In 770 two genii, each with palm spathe and pollen basket, flank the tree... In 770-773 the gesture of the genii and the fish-men implies that the main theme of these seals (especially 770, 773) is the act of pollination of the sacred tree... The figure of a god in a inged sun disk above a tree (773) has been interpreted by Frankfort as standing for Ashur hovering over his symbol, the sacred tree... Seals 770-777 may with certainty be classified as Neo-Assyrian cylinders of the latter part of the eight and of the seventh century. For example, in 770 the genii correspond in posture and garb to genii in the murals of Sargon II... ". Porada, CANES, p. 93-94
Cylinder damaged.


Hero with bow and quiver, holding scimitar and grasping ostrich as it kicks at him -- Female(?) worshiper with cupped hands behind fish-man with pollen basket beside tree -- Above tree, god in winged sun disk -- At other side of tree, second fish-man with pollen basket -- Star in sky.

Southern Mesopotamia.