London, South Kensington
15 May 2002
A LARGE SUMERIAN PINK MARBLE CYLINDER SEAL
JEMDET NASR PERIOD, CIRCA 3000 B.C.
The broad seal with concave sides decorated with a frieze of five spiders showing legs and deeply carved thorax and abdomen, 7/8 in. (2.2 cm.) high, 1¼ in. (3.1 cm.) diam.; another, pink marble, with a woman seated on a mat wearing a pigtail and holding a spouted vessel, another similar vessel lying at her feet, in front a large spider and two handled jars one above the other, 5/8 in. (1.7 cm.) high; another, pink marble, with three women seated on mats, each with arms raised, with vessels in front of them, four of the vessels with twin looped handles, ¾ in. (1.9 cm.) high, both Jemdet Nasr period, circa 3000 B.C.; and a Sumerian pink marble cylinder seal with three deeply carved rows of dogs, the upper and lower rows facing right, the middle row facing left, fish separate the animals in the lower row, stars in the other rows, Uruk period, circa 3200 B.C., 1¼ in. (3.1 cm.) high (4)
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Item one: spiders were often associated with weaving and were the symbol of the Sumerian goddess of spinning, Uttu.
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