First Impressions

Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East

Paperback, 208 pages

English language

Published Aug. 30, 2006 by British Museum Press.

OCLC Number:

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The Ancient Near East has a fascinating and unique source of pictorial information in the form of miniature reliefs produced by the impressions of cylinder seals. This is the most comprehensive introductory survey of cylinder seals yet published.

The small cylinders, generally of stone and engraved with a design, were made from about 3300 to 300 BC and were rolled out on lumps of clay used for sealing goods and writing tablets, leaving an impression in relief. The designs on them are intricate and varied and are a major source of information for the art historian, the student of theology and the Biblical scholar. They are also a dating tool for the archaeologist and a source of aesthetic pleasure for collectors and all who study them. The author considers the history of their use and the evidence they provide for trade, technology, religion, architecture, farming, warfare and other central themes …

5 editions


  • Coins, banknotes, medals, seals, numismatics
  • Middle & Near Eastern archaeology
  • Palaeography (history of writing)
  • Sociology
  • Social Science
  • Archaeology / Anthropology
  • Middle East
  • Archaeology
  • Antiquities
  • Cylinder seals