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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Bronze Age : Earthenware Plug with Seal Impression
Earthenware Plug with Seal Impression - LO.681
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 2000 BC to 1500 BC
Dimensions: 2.50" (6.4cm) depth
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Terracotta

Location: Great Britain
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Round terracotta plug with a seal impression featuring a beast of prey in profile (possibly a feline) with its head turned frontally. A five-pointed star motif with a long appendage placed at the back of the animal. The presence of a cordoned border would suggest a Bactrio-Margiana origin and a Bronze age date for this small ornament. Its shape, flat on one side and conical on the other, finds parallels among the earthenware plugs with seal impressions found at the Temple of Toguluk at Gonur-depe in Margiana (Turkmenistan) datable to the mid Bronze Age period. The temple represented the first monumental construction dedicated to special cults later developed in Zoroastrianism. In one of its courtyard surrounded by corridors, service chambers were found with khum dug in the floor and sealed with clay plugs bearing impressions of seals and amulets, perhaps used to protect them from thievish servants guarding the temple. As in our example, the images found on such plugs are mostly images of animals in heraldic posture, related to specific myths and rituals, now difficult to trace.

For comparable examples see: V. Sarianidi, Margus, Turkmenistan, 2002: pp.194-195. - (LO.681)


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