An Inscribed Cylinder Seal for the Servant of Adad, Old Babylonian Period, ca. 2000 - 1600 BC

with two columns of cuneiform that reads:  (name, not translated),  servant of (the god) Adad.  

Son of the sky god Anu, Adad (Canaanite Hadad, Hurrian Teshub, Egyptian Resheph,  Phoenician Baal/Bel, and Sumerian Ishkur) was the Mesopotamian storm god, the Lord of the Natural World of Elements, Master of the Earth and the Earth Shaker, Lord of the Clouds and Rains; an ambivalent figure whose intervention brought either benefit or harm to humankind. The destructive aspects of the storm god are often prominent in southern Mesopotamia, whereas in the north he was venerated to a greater extent as the bounteous bringer of rain. This probably reflects the differing importance of rainfall for agriculture in the respective regions. However, both sides of Adad's character are explored in Sumerian and Akkadian literature.

His ability to deploy the destructive forces of nature meant that Adad was also conceptualised as a warlike figure. In one Sumerian hymn, Ishkur destroys the rebellious land like the wind. He makes it barren like the "ašagu plant". Similar themes appear in Akkadian texts, including omen apodoses where Adad overwhelms the army or land of the enemy. Adad was also associated with divination and justice. Paired with Šamaš, he is addressed as 'lord of prayers and divination', and invoked to preside over haruspicies or as a witness in legal contexts.

Condition:  Intact and in excellent condition overall. A very fine example.  On museum quality custom mount with modern seal roll.

Dimensions:  Height: 1.3 cm   Diameter: 0.6 cm

Provenance:  Paul Ilton private collection.  During his lifetime, Paul Ilton was internationally known as an archaeologist, lecturer, teacher, film consultant and author, personally excavating the pieces within his collecting during his 25 years in the Holy Land.   He recorded his findings in a book “The Bible was my Treasure Map” published in 1958 following his death.


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