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Sold at auction for over £1000 in December 2015

 



Well, certainly not Old Babylonian.

It is in the Middle Assyrian style and indeed the bird headed Apkallu first appears on cylinder seals in the Middle Assyrian period.

The vessel which they hold is the banduddu bucket.



Compare the bird headed Apkallu figures with other examples.



Notice something, or indeed, several things?

 

And the 'pillar with radiating lobes and struts' is actually a Tree of Life.

 

Compare  how it is done.

Incorrectly.





 

And the inscription?

Copied, rather badly, from a well known seal in a well known book.

Vorderasiatische Rollsiegel. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Steinschneidekunst by Anton Moortgat.




But the inscription has been done reversed.



This is exactly what would happen if the maker copied it from an imprint rather than from the seal itself

 

Here is the text reference in Moortgat.



Note that 'Ansscheinend'  means 'apparently'.

 

It is indeed incorrect.

 

See: Essays on Ancient Anatolia and Its Surrounding Civilizations  p. 226 no. 1.4.



So it is not a name but  an invocation:  a number of similar were published by K Watanabe

It reads:

d-PA  PAP ZI / TIN BA(!) 

'Oh Nabu, protect by life-breath, give/bestow on me life!

The BA sign = give  is not quite correct but obviously what was supposed to be there.

Other such seals have BA-sha, BA-esh, etc...

 

One can learn something interesting even by looking into a fake!

 

Other comments:

 

From AW:

 

I would have to agree with you here, for the following reasons:

 

- the circular ends of the tree of life lines are too round. Most depictions of the tree of life end with a v shape or are oval.

- the fronds of the griffin wings are too chunky

- the baskets held by the two figures are different sizes

- the figures are somewhat quite far away from the tree.