Mesopotamian&Persian Seals

My first project of the year: Mesopotamian&Persian Seals… They’re really interesting! I’ve included my slide presentation as well as my following notes:


Slide 1: The culture of Mesopotamian and Persia was one of individualism, ownership oriented, and just overall concerned with personal property. There for even commoners had these seals to identify themselves on their houses, documents, and even letters. This seal is made of a common stone and it was used as a signature rolled at the bottom of a document as a signature might be written today.

Slide 2: The seals were made to represent a specific person, so everyone’s was different and unique. Popular themes included mythology, such as a king talking to a god, or animals. Symmetry and geometric shapes were also important. This particular seal is made of a precious stone, which also indicates that it was a seal of an important person. The more rare the stone, and larger the seal, the higher your social standing.

Slide 3: Because Mesopotamian was constantly encountering different cultures through war or trade, they needed to be able to incorporate a method to distinguish individuals. The kings of Mesopotamia and Persia used the seal method as a was to authenticate laws through out the empire. Because seals are virtually impossible to forge, it was a good way to ensure the legitimacy of the laws. This seal was a kings due to the size and the specific stone. You can also see how the seal has a hole at the top, which meant this seal was worn as a bracelet or a necklace. As I said previously, social standing had a lot to do with how you showed your seal. If you were the king, you wore it every where you went, not only to show your power or status, but to ensure it’s safety.

Slide 4: This last slide is purely to show the evolution of seals, this is what the bottom of a seal would look like, a stamp if you will. Today this would be like a wax seal or a king’s signet ring. It becomes more individualized to the point of portraiture, like our coins or brand logos.


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