A Hittite Button Seal, Late Bronze Age, 14th -13th century BC

of biconvex red jasper, with a single line to the edge, the surfaces on both sides incised with an inscription in Hieroglyphic Luwian that tentatively reads as Pu(?)/Sa5(?)-pi-mi(?), that is Pupimi or Sapimi, a woman's name, as shown by the antithetic triangle as well as the oblong combinations on both surfaces; the oblong being the ideogram for woman, the triangle for good fortune.

It is unusual to find the same woman's  name on both sides of a seal. Most common is either a couple, with the name of a man on one side and a woman on the other, or a man's name on both surfaces.  My thanks to Prof. Garry Beckman for his assistance with this identification and translation.

Condition: The surface worn but otherwise intact and in excellent condition with clear incisions.

Dimensions: 18mm x 5mm

Provenance: Forming part of the James Stephan Snr. collection, assembled in the 1950's to early 1960's and then by descent.  Dr. Stephan was a US intelligence officer who also held a degree in archaeology.  He was posted in the Anatolian region of Turkey with the US government during this time, and acquired his collection from dealers and villagers throughout the region.


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