Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Cairo Egypt Zeitoun The Great Aparition of Mary the Holy Mother

Zeitoun, Egypt (1968)


In 1958 Egypt united with Syria to form the United Arab Republic, although the Syrian revolt in 1961 soon led to its dissolution.

Even so, in 1961 Egypt embarked on a program of industrialization, chiefly through Soviet technical and economic aid. Both industry and agriculture were almost completely nationalized by the end of 1962.

There was a fear among democratic governments that Egypt might become a Soviet satellite. President Gamal Abdal Nasser set about to make Egypt the undisputed leader of a united Arab world — attacking, in intense propaganda campaigns, other Arab governments that resisted Egypt’s leadership.

His most effective rallying cry for Arab unity was his denunciations of Israel calling for its total extinction. This rallying cry dominated Middle East politics between 1962 and 1967.

Meanwhile, Egyptian military might continue to increase with the acquisition of powerful modern weapons, many supplied by the USSR.

Various militant eruptions ensued, with worldwide impact. In 1967, Nasser assumed near absolute powers by taking over the premiership of the Arab Socialist Union, as Egypt was then called.

International fears increased that Egypt might become fully aligned with the dreaded Soviet Union. Indeed, after the sad war with Israel of 1967, Nasser received a massive infusion of military and economic aid from the Soviet Union.

The Western superpowers were quite worried. Such was the state of affairs in 1968. Zeitoun is a suburb of Cairo. Although the population of Cairo is Moslem, there is also a large Coptic minority in the city, as there is throughout Egypt. In ancient times, the city which became modern Cairo was known as On, or Heliopolis, the latter term Greek for “the City of the Sun.” 
The area of Heliopolis then became known as Mataria, which became the modern town of Zeitoun. According to Christian tradition, Mataria was the place in Egypt to which the Holy Family fled to escape Herod’s attempts to kill the newborn Messiah (Matt. 2:13-18). There once had been a shrine known as St. Mary’s Church built, and several times rebuilt, on the spot the Holy Family had found shelter. 

At some point the shrine to the Holy Mother disappeared altogether. In 1925 a member of the Khalil family experienced a “revelation” that the Mother of God would for one year appear in the church to be built there, at the same site. 

The family donated the land and built the new Coptic St. Mary’s Church. But nothing more happened until about forty-six years later, surely when few remembered why the church was built in the first place. On April 2, 1968, two car mechanics were working in a city garage at Tomanbey Street and Khalil Lane across from the church.

One of them happened to glance at the church and was startled to see a “nun” dressed in white standing on top of the dome. He and his colleague thought the nun was going to jump. One ran to get the priest, the other to get the police and an emergency squad. A large crowd gathered to watch these events — and began commenting on the nun’s translucent white radiance.
The emergency squad arrived. The crowd increased, and many watched and shouted at the nun not to jump but to come down safely. But by then the nun began to disappear, and ultimately vanished before everyone’s eyes. The figure atop the church was by many accepted as an appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The appearance caused a small ripple, but life soon went on as usual. Seven days later, though, the figure was again seen atop the Church of St. Mary’s. The luminous figure continued to appear at intervals until some time in 1970 — usually to the awed excitement of as many as 250,000 who gathered to witness her.

Many came armed with cameras. Startling images of the apparition and other phenomena were caught by many, but nothing unusual appeared on other photographs. It soon became apparent that some could see only indistinct luminosities, and that some saw nothing at all. But the vast majority could see very well.

The figure took to walking, or floating, around the dome, descending often to the roof’s edges. As she disappeared from one side and appeared on another, loud shouts of joy and awe arose from the masses on the side from which she could be seen. It wasn’t long before the crowds of pilgrims and witnesses achieved massive proportions. The human and motor traffic was tremendous.

Shortly after the apparitions commenced, the garage across the street and other nearby buildings were demolished to make room for parking lots to accommodate the visitors. Father Jerome Palmer, an American priest who witnessed the apparition many times, recorded that it was usually heralded by mysterious lights, bursts so brilliant, flashing, and scintillating that he compared them to sheet lightning.

These phenomena preceded the appearance by approximately a quarter of an hour, sometimes appearing above the church and sometimes in “clouds” that formed to cover it like a canopy.

The clouds were especially awesome, since clouds are seldom seen in Cairo. On one occasion, streams of incense poured through the church and settled over the throngs standing outside of it. The fragrance was extraordinary. Often luminous dovelike or birdlike forms glided through the air and sky around the apparition.

Their wings did not move. They appeared and disappeared in an instant. The Lady herself did not stand motionless. In addition to walking around the top of the church, she often bowed and greeted the throngs below.

She bent from the waist and moved her arms in greetings and benedictions and blessings. Thousands of people simultaneously knelt to receive them. The duration of the apparitions varied from a few minutes to sometimes over four hours. On the night of June 8, 1968, the Lady remained visible from 9:00 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. The apparitions continued at intervals through 1970.

This was a nonspeaking apparition, but one of glorious magnitude. Many photos were taken. Among those I’ve seen, in one the Holy Mother is floating near one of the church’s cupolas, suspended in air. No facial features are visible, but the head is clearly surrounded by a nimbus or luminous radiation. The arms and hands are clearly visible. She is sheathed in luminous white light, presumably a gown.
In another photo, a glowing white “bird” appears above her nimbus. In other photos, her head is bowed forward, her hands before her together as if in prayer. In yet other photos, the dome, cupolas, and outline of the church are suffused with auras, especially the crosses atop the building.

There is no other color perceptible but the light, which was described by everyone as either whitish-blue or bluish-white. Sometimes the auras descended to incorporate the hundreds of witnesses close to the church’s walls.

These were considered fortunately blessed, and so a crowd was always pressed up against the church walls. The Coptic religious weekly Watani was the first to publish information about the apparitions in a spread of two pages each week. The paper also printed weekly accounts of some of the outstanding cures and miracles which took place among the pilgrims and witnesses.

Within a short time, media worldwide, including the New York Times and major news magazines, were carrying news of the apparition and many photos of it. People from all over the world arrived in increasing numbers — and most of them saw.

Sometimes the crowds numbered 250,000 people a night. With this exquisite apparition, repeated many times, the skeptics’ demand of an incontestable photograph of an apparition of the Holy Mother was met, and met many times over. If incontestable photos are accepted as evidence of facts, then the photos of the repeated appearances of the Holy Mother at Zeitoun must be accepted as recording a factual apparition.

 And, indeed, those photos permit a positive reassessment of all the earlier major apparitions of the Holy Mother. However, skeptics at Zeitoun wouldn’t give up easily. Some of them held that the “Russians are doing it [projecting the image] by means of Telstar.”

But even if such projection was possible via a space satellite, why the anti-religious Communist Russians would wish to reinforce and support religious faith would have been something of a mystery. But this kind of bewildering “logic” has always been characteristic of skeptical attitudes toward the great apparitions. The impact of this series of apparitions was tremendous. As stated by Bishop Samuel (then Coptic Bishop of Public, Ecumenical and Social Services):

 The apparition was for all mankind, since belief in spiritual powers these days is weak. God is trying by all means to help mankind to build up its faith again. We [the Coptic churches] are happy, not only because of the apparitions, but also because of the great phenomena which accompanied them— of cures, of strengthening the faith, of prayerful living. The Copts moved expeditiously to “investigate” the apparitions, which, it would seem, hardly needed investigating.

On April 23, 1968, only twenty-one days after the apparitions had started, His Holiness Anba Kyrillos VI, Patriarch of the See of St. Mark in Africa and the Near East, formed a provisional delegation for verifying the matter. The report of the delegation was very soon published.

The report began with an account of the apparitions and expressed deep faith in their validity. “These appearances have been accompanied by two great blessings: the first being that of engendering and strengthening faith, and the second is the miraculous cures of desperate cases.” Some of the medically confirmed cures included those of urinary bladder cancer, cancer of the thyroid gland, permanent blindness, deafness, permanent paralysis of limbs, hernias, high blood pressure, bacteriological and viral infections, and mental derangement.

This was one of the most spectacular events in modern Egyptian history, but it is largely forgotten today. In any event, Gamal Abdal Nasser suddenly died in 1970.
Vice President Anwar al-Sadat succeeded him as president. Sadat followed a modified version of Nasser’s hard line toward Israel, but commenced work toward peace accords which has been in process ever since, although another war broke out in 1973. In July 1972, however, Sadat suddenly ousted all Soviet military personnel stationed in Egypt and placed Soviet bases and equipment under Egyptian control. This represented a reversal of a twenty-year trend of increasing dependence on the USSR a reversal which caused the Western superpowers immeasurable relief and which may actually have marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. Whether the gorgeous appearances atop the Church of St. Mary’s had anything to do with this well, no one so far has attempted such an analysis.


from The Great Aparition of Mary by Ingo Swann

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Avignon, France

This is the biggest Gothic palace in the world. It is a megalithic structure built locks like it was built by giants.

Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city (as of 2011), about 12,000 live in the ancient town center enclosed by its medieval ramparts.

The Roman name Avennĭo Cavarum (Mela, II, 575, Pliny III, 36), i.e. "Avignon of Cavares" accurately shows that Avignon was one of the three cities of the Celtic-Ligurian tribe of Cavares, along with Cavaillon and Orange.

The current name dates to a pre-Indo-European or pre-Latin theme ab-ên with the suffix -i-ōn(e) This theme would be a hydronym – i.e. a name linked to the river (Rhône), but perhaps also an oronym of terrain (the Rocher des Doms).

The Auenion of the 1st century BC was Latinized to Avennĭo (or Avēnĭo), -ōnis in the 1st century and was written Avinhon in classic Occitan spelling or Avignoun [aviɲũ] in Mistralian spelling] The inhabitants of the commune are called avinhonencs or avignounen in both Occitan and Provençal dialect.

The site of Avignon has been occupied since the Neolithic period as shown by excavations at Rocher des Doms and the Balance district.

The name of the city dates back to around the 6th century BC. The first citation of Avignon (Aouen(n)ion) was made by Artemidorus of Ephesus. Although his book, The Journey, is lost it is known from the abstract by Marcian of Heraclea and The Ethnics, a dictionary of names of cities by Stephanus of Byzantium based on that book. He said:

"The City of Massalia (Marseille), near the Rhone, the ethnic name (name from the inhabitants) is Avenionsios (Avenionensis) according to the local name (in Latin) and Auenionitès according to the Greek expression".

This name has two interpretations: "city of violent wind" or, more likely, "lord of the river".Other sources trace its origin to the Gallic mignon ("marshes") and the Celtic definitive article.

Avignon was a simple Greek Emporium founded by Phocaeans from Marseille around 539 BC. It was in the 4th century BC that the Massaliotes (people from Marseilles) began to sign treaties of alliance with some cities in the Rhone valley including Avignon and Cavaillon. A century later Avignon was part of the "region of Massaliotes" or "country of Massalia".

Fortified on its rock, the city later became and long remained the capital of the Cavares. With the arrival of the Roman legions in 120 BC. the Cavares, allies with the Massaliotes, became Roman.
So at that time there were fortifications possibly large.

Under the domination of the Roman Empire, Aouenion became Avennio and was now part of Gallia Narbonensis (118 BC.), the first Transalpine province of the Roman Empire. Very little from this period remains (a few fragments of the forum near Rue Molière).

It later became part of the 2nd Viennoise. Avignon remained a "federated city" with Marseille until the conquest of Marseille by Trebonius and Decimus Junius Brutus Albinus, Caesar's lieutenants. It became a city of Roman law in 49 BC. It acquired the status of Roman colony in 43 BC. Pomponius Mela placed it among the most flourishing cities of the province possibly because of the buildings in the city.

Listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco, the Popes' Palace is one of the 10 most visited monuments in France with 650,000 visitors per year.

Official History say that it was built in less then 20 years starting in 1335, the Popes' Palace is the amalgamation of two palaces built by two popes: Benedict XII, who built the Old Palace to the east and north, and his successor Clement VI who built the New Palace to the south and west.

In the 14th century, the Popes' Palace was occupied by 7 popes and 2 popes of the Papal Schism before the return of the papacy to Rome.


The Avignon Papacy lasted from 1309 to 1376, when seven Popes based their court there. They were Clement V (1305–1314), John XXII (1316–1334), Benedict XII (1334–1342), Clement VI (1342–1352), Innocent VI (1352–1362), Urban V (1362–1370) and Gregory XI (1370–1378). But why did they leave Rome in the first place?

The story begins with a long-running conflict between the Vatican and the Kings of France. When a Frenchman, Bertrand de Got (who later gave his name to berlingot candies), was elected Pope Clement V, he moved to Avignon.

The reason: the city was not part of France at the time, and the new Pope avoided getting caught in the crossfire!

Clement V firmed up the French connection by appointing nine of his French allies as cardinals. Since they would elect the next Pope, it was a virtual guarantee that the papacy would remain French.
And so it proved. His six successors, all of them French, continued the tradition. By the end of the Avignon Papacy, 111 of the new 134 cardinals created were French as well.

The Palais des Papes remained under papal control for over 350 years after the Popes had moved back to Rome, and continued to be used as a residence for visiting legates, But it gradually deteriorated, and was comprehensively sacked and looted during the French Revolution (1789-99).
Reverting to France in 1791, it became a military barracks and prison and during this time much of the interior decoration was destroyed.

Occupied by the Legates and Vice-Legates starting in the 15th century then transformed into a garrison until 1906, it has undergone various restoration work since. Most recently, the Trouillas Tower has regained its past appearance. The tower houses the 11 stories of the Departmental Archives and its height of 52 metres makes you dizzy as you look up at it from the terrace of the Utopia Manutention Cinema.

Avignon, a city in southeastern France’s Provence region, is set on the Rhône River. From 1309 to 1377, it was the seat of the Catholic popes. It remained under papal rule until becoming part of France in 1791. This legacy can be seen in the massive Palais des Papes (Popes' Palace) in the city center, which is surrounded by medieval stone ramparts.

Avignon invites you for a stay beyond all imagination.The historic city centre, the Popes' Palace, all the episcopal buildings and the Saint Bénézet Bridge are listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO.
The historic center radiates from the Place de l'Horloge.

Here, you find the City Hall built between 1845 and 1851 over a former cardinal's palace of which it has kept the old fortified tower, transformed into a belfry in the 15th century with clock and Jacquemart. Next to it, the municipal theatre, also from the 19th century, houses the Avignon opera and, all the way at the top, the delightful Belle Époque style carrousel still turns.

Originally the forum of Avenio, the city's name under the Romans in the 1st century BC, the Place de l'Horloge is still the “centre” of Avignon. A meeting place, bordered by cafés and restaurants, the square is always bustling. Just like the Place du Palais higher up, a vast esplanade where you could spend the day just watching all the street performers in summer. 

Next to the palace, the Notre-Dame des Doms Cathedral, built in 1150 in a Provençal Romanesque style, was put on the first very list of historic monuments in 1840. From the top of its bell tower, the statue of the Virgin Mary, entirely gilded in gold, 6 metres high and weighing 4500 kilos, blesses and protects the city.

Across from the palace, dragons and eagles stand guard over the imposing edifice of the Hôtel des Monnaies, once the city's mint. And not far away, the Petit Palais, a former cardinal's residence turned into a museum, houses an impressive collection of Italian primitive art, old sculptures by Avignon artists and paintings from the Avignon School.

If you want to open up your horizons, go do a tour of the ramparts. The Avignon city walls constitute the 2nd longest continuous wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China. You can access the walls' walkway from the Rocher des Doms or from the Saint Anne stairs behind the palace.
Then, go dance on the famous bridge of Avignon. The Saint Bénézet Bridge was built around 1180 – miraculously, according to legend, by a simple shepherd – to link the city to Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

Over the years, a war and successive flooding by the Rhône partially destroyed the bridge. Today, the 12th century Saint Nicholas Chapel remains, as well as four arches of which the span constitutes, according to a prestigious civil engineer, an amazing feat for the period.

At the foot of the bridge you will find the landing pier for the cable ferry that will take you free of charge to the Barthelasse Island for a stroll in the countryside just a stone's throw from the city.
Unless you prefer exploring one of the museums of which Avignon has many.

Between the collections of contemporary art (the Lambert Collection) and of paintings (Musée Angladon and Petit Palais), the museum of Fine Arts (Musée Calvet), of archaeology (Musée Lapidaire) and of period furnishings and decorative arts (Musée Louis Vouland), you will be spoiled for choice.

Metropolitan Museum New York Sumerian Tales about Anunnaki or Elohim, and Genetic Manipulations of Enki and Ninti in Abzu

According di Zecharia Sitchin the Sumerian texts talk about SHI.IM.TI meaning" the place where the wind of life is breathed in" the source of the biblical assertion that after fashioning Adam from the clay Elohim " blew in his nostrils the breath of life" the biblical term sometime translated as soul. rather that breath of life.

The Sumerian and Akkadian terms that are means "clay" or "mud" evolved from the Sumerian TI.IT literally " that is with life" and assumed the derivative meaning of "clay" or "mud" or "egg". The earthly element in the procedure for binding upon a being who already existed  "the image of the gods" was thus to be the female egg of that being of an Apewoman.

The texts dealing with this event make it clear that Ninti relied on Enki (her half brother having the same father ANU) to provide the earthly element this egg of female Apewoman from the Abzu ( present Africa)  south eastern Africa.  The specific location is given in the above quote is not the same site as the mines areas identified as Southern Rhodesia now Zimbabwe but a place above it farther north. This area was indeed as recent find have shown where Homo Sapiens emerged.

The task of obtaining the "divine" elements was "Ninti's"; two extracts were needed from one of the Anunnaki and an young "god" was carefully selected for the purpose. Enki's instructions to Ninti were to obtain the god's blood and s'hiru " and trough immersion in " purifying bath" obtain their essence.

What had to be obtained from the blood was "TE.E.MA" at best translated as personality or in the original Sumerian meant " that which house that which binds the memory ". Nowadays we call gene.

Ninti was the chief medical officer her name was "Lady Life" later she was nicknamed Mammi the source of the universal Mamma/Mother.

Enki and Ninti must have conducted a lot of experiments together before the suggestion was made by the assembly of the Anunnaki to "let us make an Adamu in our image".
Some ancient depictions show Bull- Men accompanied by naked Ape Men or bird men Sphinxes (bull or lions with human heads) that adorned many ancient temples may have been more that imaginary representations.

When Berossus the Babylonian priest wrote down Sumerian cosmogony and tales of creation for the Greeks he described a prehuman period when men appeared with two wings or one body and two heads or with mixed male and female organs or some with legs and horns of goats or other hominid animal mixtures.

These creatures were not freaks of nature but the result of deliberate experiments by Enki and Ninti is obvious from the Sumerian texts.

The texts describe how the who cam up with a being who had neither male or female organs, a man who could not hold back his urine, a woman incapable of bearing children and creatures with numerous defects.

Having reached this stage where genetic manipulation was sufficiently perfected to enable the determination of the resulting body's good or bad aspects the two felt they could master the final challenge to mix the genes of hominids, Appemen not with those of other Earth creatures but with the genes of the Anunnaki themselves.

Using all the knowledge they had amassed the tow Elochim set out to manipulate and speed up the Process of Evolution .

from "Genesis Revised is modern science catching up with ancient knowledge?" by Zeckaria Sitchin
pictures from Metropolitan Museum of Art New York

Cuneiform writing

Seal and Tablet
Horse with wings

the winged disk is the symbol of Nibiru.

The serpent is the symbol of Enki the scientist.
There is a big question about these purses. What they represent or contain? Zecharia Sitchin in one oh his books explain that they have the seeds of life or plant seeds.

Half men half animals sculptures
The wings might be flying devices in this case.
The legs look like the robots that help with faster movements invented recently.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Sumerian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Statue of Gudea

Period: Neo-Sumerian
Date: ca. 2090 B.C.
Geography: Mesopotamia, probably from Girsu (modern Tello)
Culture: Neo-Sumerian
Medium: Diorite
Dimensions: 17 3/8 x 8 1/2 x 11 5/8 in. (44 x 21.5 x 29.5 cm)
Classification: Stone-Sculpture-Inscribed
Credit Line: Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1959
Accession Number: 59.2
The Akkadian Empire collapsed after two centuries of rule, and during the succeeding fifty years, local kings ruled independent city-states in southern Mesopotamia. The city-state of Lagash produced a remarkable number of statues of its kings as well as Sumerian literary hymns and prayers under the rule of Gudea (ca. 2150–2125 B.C.) and his son Ur-Ningirsu (ca. 2125–2100 B.C.). Unlike the art of the Akkadian period, which was characterized by dynamic naturalism, the works produced by this Neo-Sumerian culture are pervaded by a sense of pious reserve and serenity.

This sculpture belongs to a series of diorite statues commissioned by Gudea, who devoted his energies to rebuilding the great temples of Lagash and installing statues of himself in them. Many inscribed with his name and divine dedications survive. Here, Gudea is depicted in the seated pose of a ruler before his subjects, his hands folded in a traditional gesture of greeting and prayer.

The Sumerian inscription on his robe reads as follows:

When Ningirsu, the mighty warrior of Enlil, had established a courtyard in the city for Ningišzida, son of Ninazu, the beloved one among the gods; when he had established for him irrigated plots(?) on the agricultural land; (and) when Gudea, ruler of Lagaš, the straightforward one, beloved by his (personal) god, had built the Eninnu, the White Thunderbird, and the..., his 'heptagon,' for Ningirsu, his lord, (then) for Nanše, the powerful lady, his lady, did he build the Sirara House, her mountain rising out of the waters. He (also) built the individual houses of (other) great gods of Lagaš. For Ningišzida, his (personal) god, he built his House of Girsu. Someone (in the future) whom Ningirsu, his god - as my god (addressed me) has (directly) addressed within the crowd, let him not, thereafter, be envious(?) with regard to the house of my (personal) god. Let him invoke its (the house's) name; let such a person be my friend, and let him (also) invoke my (own) name. (Gudea) fashioned a statue of himself. "Let the life of Gudea, who built the house, be long." - (this is how) he named (the statue) for his sake, and he brought it to him into (his) house.

This translation is derived from Edzard, Dietz-Otto. 1997. Gudea and his Dynasty. The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Early Periods Volume 3/1. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 57-58.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Standing female worshiper

Early Dynastic IIIa
ca. 2600–2500 B.C.
Mesopotamia, Nippur
Limestone, inlaid with shell and lapis lazuli
H. 9 13/16 x W. 3 3/8 x D. 2 1/8 in. (24.9 x 8.5 x 5.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1962
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 403
This statue of a standing woman with her hands clasped in front of her chest was found in the plasterings of a mud-brick bench located in one of the cellars of the Nippur temple of Inanna (Level VIIB), the Sumerian goddess of abundance. Her garment is draped over her left shoulder and falls in folds indicated by two incised lines along the border of the otherwise smooth fabric. The feet are carved in high relief against the back support and the toes and ankles are clearly indicated. The wavy hair is held in place by two plain bands, and curly locks hang down on either side of the face. Inlay of shell and lapis lazuli survives in her left eye. The best-preserved statues at Nippur are those that were buried within the temple furniture, like this example. Such deliberate burials suggest that temple offerings and equipment remained sacred even when no longer in use.
1960–61, excavated on behalf of the Joint Expedition to Nippur (Baghdad School of the American Schools of Oriental Research and The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago); acquired by the Museum in 1962, as a result of its financial contribution to the excavations. 
Mesopotamia, 8000-2000 B.C.
Stamp and cylinder seals
Stamp and cylinder seals are a crucial source for the art, history, and religion of the ancient Near East. The rulers, gods, demons, and monsters that move in stately and seemingly dumb procession around the seals give us important insights into the real and magical worlds of the ancients. Cylinder and stamp seals were among the first objects to enter the Museum's collection from the Near East.

In 1874 a large and interesting group was included in the Cesnola collection of ancient Cypriot art, and in 1886 cylinder and stamp seals from Mesopotamia—as well as more than three hundred cuneiform tablets—were acquired from William H. Ward. Through its participation in excavations and through gifts and purchases, the Museum has received since that time over a thousand stamp and cylinder seals from all periods and regions in the pre-Islamic Near East.

This catalogue and the exhibition in the Museum's Recent Acquisitions gallery acknowledge the generous gift of more than two hundred and fifty seals from the Martin and Sarah Cherkasky collection of stamp and cylinder seals. It is an important gift—one that substantially strengthens and supplements the Museum's holdings. Additionally, the exhibition includes a number of objects from the permanent collection for comparative and illustrative purposes.

Cylinder seal


Period: Old Babylonian
Date: ca. 18th–17th century B.C.
Geography: Mesopotamia
Culture: Babylonian
Medium: Hematite
Dimensions: 0.94 in. (2.39 cm)
Classification: Stone-Cylinder Seals-Inscribed
Credit Line: Gift of Martin and Sarah Cherkasky, 1987
Accession Number: 1987.96.5
Although engraved stones had been used as early as the seventh millennium B.C. to stamp impressions in clay, the invention in the fourth millennium B.C. of carved cylinders that could be rolled over clay allowed the development of more complex seal designs. These cylinder seals, first used in Mesopotamia, served as a mark of ownership or identification. Seals were either impressed on lumps of clay that were used to close jars, doors, and baskets, or they were rolled onto clay tablets that recorded information about commercial or legal transactions.

The seals were often made of precious stones. Protective properties may have been ascribed to both the material itself and the carved designs. Seals are important to the study of ancient Near Eastern art because many examples survive from every period and can, therefore, help to define chronological phases. Often preserving imagery no longer extant in any other medium, they serve as a visual chronicle of style and iconography.

The modern impression of the seal is shown so that the entire design can be seen. This seal features a three line inscription and a scene with the goddess Ishtar, who is shown wearing an open robe and holding a mace in her raised right hand and a scimitar in her left. Weapons emerge from her shoulders and she stands on a lion-headed eagle. Facing her is a man with a mace standing on a platform and behind him stands a suppliant goddess. Presentation scenes – featuring a worshipper before a deity or ruler – were common motifs on seals of the Old Babylonian period. The use of hematite, a dark colored hard stone, is another characteristic of seal production in this period.