The island of Cyprus, located in the Mediterranean off the coast of Syria, was a major center of trade during the Late Bronze Age, ca. 1450-1050 B.C.E. Cypriot traders traveled all around the Mediterranean world, selling primarily copper in exchange for other commodities. It was during this period that Cypriot craftsmen first produced their own cylinder seals. These seals, and impressions of them, have been found at a number of sites around the Mediterranean world – not only on Cyprus, but also at Ugarit, a major harbor town in northern Syria, and at other trading centers.
Although Cypriot seals in many ways imitated the styles of the mainland regions – especially Syrian styles – several distinctly Cypriot schools developed.
In numerous Cypriot seals, human figures are shown with high arches in their feet, and they often have puffed-out cheeks, and/or pincher-like hands. These features can be seen in seals 1278 (above), A.1016, and A.1020, 1279 (below).