Cylinder Seal With Impression

Assyrian Cylinder Seal

Cylinder Seal from Palace of Sargon

This ancient Assyrian cylinder seal was carved on chalcedony in the 7th or 8th century BC. It was discovered at the palace of Sargon II at the site of ancient Khorsabad. The seal contains the goddess Ishtar, a worshipper and winged genies.

MET Excerpt

Cylinder seal and modern impression: Ishtar image and a worshiper below a canopy flanked by winged genies, 8th-7th century B.C.; Neo-Assyrian modeled style

Chalcedony; H. 1 1/4 in. (3.1 cm)
Gift of Martin and Sarah Cherkasky, 1989 (1989.361.1)


"Seals of the early first millennium B.C. in Babylonia and Assyria were carved in the linear, drilled, cut, and modeled styles. The modeled style illustrated here derives from earlier Middle Assyrian seal carving and from the modeled sculpture in the palace of Sargon II (r. 721–705 B.C.), king of Assyria at Khorsabad. This style was used predominantly on seals showing scenes of contest and worship. On this cylinder seal a statue of the goddess Ishtar stands on a platform within a canopied enclosure. Ishtar is identified by crossed quivers, a starred crown, and stars encircling her body. Two winged genies protect the enclosure, while a kneeling figure worships" - MET

"In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;" - Isaiah 20:1

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Copyright © 2001 The Metropolitan Museum of Art - MET

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Bibliography on Ancient Art

The Art of Ancient Egypt, Revised by Robins, 272 Pages, Pub. 2008