3,800-year-old cylinder seal found in Turkey

(ORDO NEWS) — During the excavations of the Tepebag mound, located in the center of the Adana province in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, a 3800-year-old cylinder seal was discovered. The mound is located in the same place where it is mentioned in the Hittite written sources.

The first find of the 2022 excavation season during the excavations of the Tepebag mound, which began in 2013, was a 3,800-year-old cylinder seal.

Previous excavations at the Tepebag mound, which in ancient times was located on important trade routes, revealed the remains of an Assyrian palace dating back to the 7th century BC. In addition, an Egyptian seal dating back to the 7th century BC was found in the same layer.

Excavations in Adana, one of the most important cities in Turkey, shed light on the past of the city and the region.

A cylinder seal is a small, pierced object that looks like a long round bead, with inscriptions or figurative scenes, or both, cut backwards (gravure) and suspended from ropes of fiber or leather. A cylindrical seal is a small round cylinder, usually about one inch (2 to 3 cm) long.

According to some sources, cylindrical seals were invented around 3500 BC. in the Middle East. Other sources, however, date the earliest cylinder seals to a much earlier period, the late Neolithic period (7600-6000 BC), hundreds of years before the invention of writing.

Cylinder seals were ubiquitous in the Ancient Near East and remain a unique record of the people of that era. Each seal belonged to one person and was usually strung on a necklace or bracelet.

Cuneiform was used for official reporting, governmental and theological statements, and for a wide range of correspondence. Almost all of these documents required a formal “signature”, an imprint of a cylinder seal.

When a signature was required, the seal was removed and rolled over a flexible clay document, leaving the engraved images on the back in a positive imprint.


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