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Cylinder Seals in Mesopotamia

First cylinder seals: At about 3500 BC at the Site of Uruk and Susa (Collon 1987: 13-14)

Two styles can be distinguished, which overlap chronologically.

1. Uruk cylinder seals

- cut from soft limestone, some of them among the largest; later harder stones were more often used. The cylinder is not always perforated.

2. Jemdet Nasr cylinder seals

- small squat cylinders cut from harder stones, the seals are worked to a large extent with a drill. Jemdet Nasr seals are also attested in Egypt.

The oldest seal in Egypt comes from Naqada tomb 1863; it is an import from the Near East, and it may not have been used for sealing in Egypt.


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