These examples of Sumerian stone seal impressions dating back some 5,000 years intrigue me and i'd be interested to know what others make of them if
anything, they are all considered to depict women involved in various activities and are from
The first question for me is do these depict regular women of the period or some other form of female representation, they have something of the
nymphae about them, or as in the example above the Neolithic Goddess type.
In most examples the braided pony tail hairstyle seems unusually long and pronounced, as if having some cultic significance, and the figures also
often appear to have beaks, reminiscent of the bird Goddess type figurines of the period.
The activities they are engaged in are not always easy to make out or understand, it might be considered above that they are involved in the
production of reed beds or boats which they hover above with a hand held instrument, but the relationship to the pattern of dots is enigmatic.
In the example above they seem more engaged in an act of worship than producing anything, and here their heads are seemingly rendered as the dots,
which suggests a close relationship between the dots and women if nothing else.
Above they could perhaps be seen to be gathering from some strange plant, the central figure appears to have a basket reinforcing this idea, but it
seems unusual there are no leaves upon the plant and it isn't depicted as normal for a flower.
Above similar is seen to the previous example, except here they hold an implement and they are perhaps engaged in spinning fabric or perhaps hitting a
ritual musical instrument, it is uncertain.
Above seems more straight forward in that they appear to be grinding the contents of a bowl placed before them, and below the concern seems to be with
the making of ceramics examples of which are seen behind the figure engaged in activity.
So anyway there we have it, some interesting little seals, which unfortunately appear to have been stolen during the war in Iraq.