Akkadian cylinder seal with naked hero (Courtesy of the British Museum)
London, British Museum (BM 89147)
Brown and white quartz or chalcedony; H 3.6
Akkadian period (2350-2200 BC)
Cylinder seal with bevelled edges and slightly chipped.
It depicts a contest scene with two antithetical groups, each consisting of a bearded hero, traditionally interpreted as Gilgamesh, wrestling with a lion. The kneeling hero, in profile and full face, is naked except for a belt (the same of the copper statue of standard-bearer); one arm is round the lion's neck, while the other is reaching round the lion's body to grasp its tail.
The original inscription was erased and replaced by rushes; the other one was later reinscribed.
The seal carving testifies a high ability, showing small details of the bodies, as the hair, beard and muscles. (AL)
ERC - EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL UNIVERSITA’ DI PISA