What do cylinder seals signify?
Cylinder seals, small cylindrical objects usually made from a hard stone and engraved with different designs and sometimes script, are an important part of life in the ancient Middle East from the 4th millennium BC onwards, replacing the earlier stamp seals. Although usually associated with ancient Mesopotamia, they were also used in Persia, Anatolia, the Levant, Arabia, and even spread to Egypt. At the end of the first millennium BC, however, cylinder seals disappeared, replaced by stamp seals. Cylinder seals can convey the individual identity of individuals or the identity of a particular office, encompassing social, administrative, and religious identities. In addition, cylinder seals could also be decorative and used as jewelry.
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