salut virtual museum

Discovering Ancient Oman

Cylinder seal

Cylinder seal from Salut (IMTO archive)

Salut, ST1 (US98)
Muscat, Office of the Adviser to HM the Sultan for Cultural Affairs
Dark grey stone; H 2.3, D 1.3
Iron Age: 1300-650 BC
 
The cylinder seal is decorated with a row of five men holding hands that, when rolled, creates a continual motif punctuated at intervals with astral symbols, including a solar disc.
 
Two stone cylinder seals were discovered from Iron Age contexts related to the re-occupation of the Bronze Age tower ST1, focused on the reuse of its well.
Cylinder seals became widely spread throughout ancient Near and Middle East during the Bronze Age, and remained in use long after, although stamp seals started to be used and finally became preponderant. Very few seals are known form southeast Arabia, and it can be suggested that here they were perceived more like ornaments than real administrative tools. The two seals from ST1 are among the best specimen so far discovered in Oman, especially of Iron Age date. (MdE)