Anna Glenn is a graduate student specializing in Assyriology in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins.

General Bibliography

To read more about cylinder seals, an excellent introduction is Dominique Collon’s First Impressions: Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East.  For more detailed discussions, see the series Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum: Cylinder Seals, which has five volumes dedicated to particular periods (Vol. 1: Uruk through Early Dynastic; Vol. 2: […]

Assyro-Babylonian Contest Scene

Description A bearded man grapples with two winged quadrupeds.  The animals stand on their hind legs, bodies facing the man, heads turned away.  In the field are a star and a rhomb. Discussion This seal represents a typical “contest scene” of the first millennium B.C.E., popular in 8th – 7th c. B.C.E Assyria and Babylonia.  […]

Late Bronze Age Cyprus

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 […]

Humans, Gods, and Demons

Description The figures on this seal can be divided into two groups.  The first group consists of a robed figure, raising one hand, facing the sun god Šamaš, who holds a saw-toothed knife.  Between the two figures is a sun-disc and crescent.  The second group of figures consists of a lion-demon, holding an inverted human […]

Presentation before a God

Description A clean-shaven man is presented before a seated, bearded god.  In the spaces between the figures are a cluster of three drill-holes, a crescent moon, and a tall, narrow-necked jar on a small table.  An inscription, written in cuneiform, reads: a-ḫa?-ni-šu // arad₂ nu-ur₂-dšul-gi Discussion The scene on this seal represents the standard “presentation […]

King with a Mace

Description A bearded, kilted figure, holding a mace, stands facing a suppliant goddess.  The goddess wears a flounced robe and a multi-horned headpiece, with a necklace counterweight hanging down her back.  In the space between the figures are a double lightning fork, a bull standing on a dais, a sun-disc and crescent standard, and a […]

Pigtailed Women

Description Four figures sit facing left, arms raised in front.  Their bodies are simple L-shapes, made with drill-holes and filled out with a cutting tool; their heads are single drill-holes, with lines hanging down behind representing ponytails.  In the spaces between the women are unidentified, circular objects. Discussion The scene on this seal is typical […]