Figurative Stamp Seal from Tell Halaf

Culture: Syrian/Tell Halaf
Period: 6th-5th millennium B.C.
Material: Steatite
Dimensions: 2.2 cm x 1.1 cm
Price: Sold
Ref: 6489
Provenance: From the German collection Gustav Oberländer (1926-2012).
Condition: One corner worn since ancient times, otherwise intact.
Description: Zoomorphic steatite stamp seal in form of a stylized animal, possibly a water bird. The rectangular stamp area with rounded corners depicts a lozenge pattern. The handle forms the head of the animal, is raised, tapering towards the snout and has an asterisk engraving at the back of the head. The neck is horizontally lengthwise pierced for suspension. From northern Syria, probably Tell Halaf. In ancient times seals guaranteed the authenticity of labelled properties. As such, they served for legal transactions and protected good from theft. Usually, these seals were worn around the neck or on a belt, where they always were handy.