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Well, we know what it is.

An  early cylinder seal.



And Professor Lambert who saw it says:




From Olaf

16th March 07


Hi Bron,

I discussed the seal with Dr. Sylvia Winkelmann again. She comes to the conclusion that the seal ist NOT Akkkadian, it is clearly from early dynastic period (EDII-III 2700-2400 B.C.).


Contest friezes occur in both cultures in ED it's the main theme on cylinder seals, beside banquet scenes which seem exclusively to appear on seals used by women (Ur royal graves, Queen Puhabi) It is easy to distinguish the two groups (see photo)


On ED seals, the animals are often crossing each other (Please compare the attacking lions on D) and E), on Akkadian seals they don't.  The figures stand alone, very often a bull chimera appears with the head turned towards the viewer. The figures are often positioned in a symmetric order. 


The symmetry of this seal probably led Prof. Lambert to the assumption, that your it is Akkadian.


Of course not every ED or Akkadian seal with contest friezes fits perfectly to the groups and there is a transition phase (EDIIIb), but you can easily distinguish, what is TYPICAL ED or TYPICAL Akkadian. The ED seals B) and C) are from stratified layers.B) comes from Khafadje in the Diyala region and C) comes from Tell Asmar.





You are perfectly correct!!

This is a good lesson to remind one  to think for oneself and not rely completely on a an expert's opinion!!

I learn't this lesson very recently when buying an interesting Roman glass piece. From a very knowlegeable person who thought it a rare variant of the type.

But he was wrong, and I asssumed he knew better than me! Until someone pointed it out (not very politely!).

I put it here so that the lesson could be shared.

Not the light bulb! : the next piece.


Olaf has taken his research further and defintely deserves a whole page  for this .





 From Alex

20th March 07

This metal object is from Pannonia, found few years ago, but what it is remains mystery to me... it has some strange letters, it looks like greek but I think it's hard to belive there is some greek object deep in teritory of Roman Pannonia.


 It was found near roman villa rustica... so, if you people could be so good and help me, I would ve very grateful! Thanks!



 From Jason

20th March 07


What are the dimensions?


I had a couple sections of Roman bronze armor from the Guttman collection, one of which had two similar punch inscriptions.



Very reasonable question! :o)


The dimensions are 4.5 x 5.5 cm.



24th April 07

What is this?

Bronze , not iron.

44 mm long


Might have been fixed to a rod or stick with a rivet as shown:


But the letters are not reversed,  so it's not a straight forward stamp.


A stamp to place in a mould?

But what objects carry these letters?

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