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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Antiquities ▸ Antiquities by Type ▸ SealsView Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Seals

Antiquities authenticated and attributed by Alex G. Malloy. Both the objects used to make impressions and the impressions themselves are referred to as seals. Seal impressions served as a signature of the owner of the seal. Seals used to make impressions include cylinder seals and stamp seals. Often these seals are holed for stringing and many were probably never used to make impressions, but were rather worn as amulets. The most common form of seal impression is the bulla. A bulla (plural, bullae), is a lump of clay or lead molded around a cord and stamped with a seal that identifies the sender. With a bulla in place a container cannot be violated without visible damage to either the bulla or the cord, thereby ensuring the contents remain tamper-proof until they reach their destination.


Proto-Elamite (South-Western Iran), Cylinder Seal, 3000 - 2500 B.C.

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The Elamites called their country Haltamti, but it is Elam in the Hebrew Bible, where they are called the offspring of Elam, eldest son of Shem (Genesis 10:22, Ezra 4:9). To the east of Mesopotamia, Elam was part of the early urbanization during the Chalcolithic period (Copper Age). Written records from around 3000 B.C. parallel Mesopotamian history. In the Old Elamite period (Middle Bronze Age), Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a crucial role in the short lived Gutian Empire of the 22nd century B.C. During the Persian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded Elam, the Elamite language remained among those in official use.
AS48860. Cylinder seal; cf. Amiet 1028 - 1029, Choice, carved black steatite, drill and linear design with two animals and tree, 23 mm long, ex Alex G. Malloy Sale, 5/99, #1329; SOLD


South Arabian, Sabaean Hematite Seal, c. 1000 B.C.

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AA31273. Sabaean hematite seal, 1.2 cm (1/2") long, horse rampant before seated God on X stool, drill and line cut design, the design and shape are most unusual; rare; SOLD


Southern Mesopotamia, Cylinder Seal, Jemdet Nasr Period, c. 3200 - 2900 B.C.

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Very early cylinder seal from the dawn of writing. The earliest cylinder seals, such as this one, are from the Jemdet Nasr Period in Mesopotamia.
AS48859. Cylinder seal; Malloy Artifacts 394 (this seal), cf. Buchanan 203, Superb, fine quality seal, clear calcite cylinder seal, linear opposing triangles indicating mountains and valleys; 17 mm long; ex Alex G. Malloy sale 5/99, #1326; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, October 17, 2017.
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Ancient Seals