What is fascinating about this seal is the way in which "authority" is
dealt with. The seated figure - always the most important in a seal - is
Syrian in dress & hair style. The standing figure, the second in
importance, wears a wonderfully Egyptianizing headdress with the uraeus
serpent's tail hanging down the back. It looks like the "Egyptian" is
reporting to/addressing the Syrian ruler. Note the hand gestures of both
figures. The third figure, standing behind the seated ruler, has another
Egyptianizing headdress, maybe a set of Hathor horns?, and raises a hand
in praise/worship/etc. a gesture known from both Egyptian and West Asian
art. The field is filled with a nice ankh between the first two figures,
a djed pillar behind the ruler (nice reference to the stability of his
reign?), and a squat oval between the two major figures that looks like
a cross between the Near Eastern "ring" of authority & the "frame" of an
Egyptian royal cartouche. Regardless of the actual identity, authority
always flows from the seated figure to the standing one (think of works
from the Stele of Hammurabi to the Treasury Relief of Darius at
Persepolis). Above all is a lunar crescent with a radiant disk, a
completely Near Eastern symbol. Our anonymous Syrian ruler claims pride
of position on this seal, but surrounds himself with the symbols of
Egyptian power - a good ambiguous representation of what must have been
a complex political, military & social situation.
] On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, July 16, 2010 10:30 PM
Subject: [ANE-2] Re: The Jerusalem cuneiform fragment
Sorry about the bad URL. I uploaded a picture of the seal, really a
modern sealing, to our "Photos" archive.
--- In ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org
<mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> , "MarcC"
> Thanks, Chuck. Reading Seth Sanders interesting discussion of the new
fragment reminds me that Amarna Age Syrian princes used their seals to
clarify their authority. In that context, consider the line:
> It was neither my father nor my mother, but the strong arm of the king
that placed me in the house of my father.
> One might read that line to mean that unlike other kings, Abdi-Hepa
was a self-made man ruling with the support of the king. But it could
also derive from the normative ideology of authority in the Egyptian
sphere of influence in Syria.
> Here is a picture of an unprovenanced LB seal from the YBC:
> Note that authority seems to derive from Egyptian gods in royal Amarna
titulature (if my Egyptologist friend is right about the dress!).
> Marc Cooper
> Missouri State University
> > Seth Sanders weighs in on the interpretation of the fragment:
> > http://servingtheword.blogspot.com/2010/07/blog-post.html
> > -Chuck Jones-
> > NY
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