Glyptic, literally meaning “carving,” is used here to designate specifically the product of the seal-carver’s art.



The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1931 (Oxford University Press: London, 1933).


Translated by John Mc Hugh (Mc Graw-Hill: New York, 1961).


Briggs Buchanan, “The Prehistoric Stamp Seal: A Reconsiderdtion of Some Old Excavations,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 87 (1967), pp 265–279, 525–540.


On this and many other technical details, see the useful surveys in Mc Guire Gibson and Roben D. Biggs, eds., Seals and Sealing in the Ancient Near East (Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 6:1977).


Hallo, “Seals Lost and Found,” in Gibson and Biggs, 1977, pp 55–60.


In Hallo, 1983, I suggested a necklace instead of a bracelet, but I had no explanation for the location of it, or at least the pin, in or on Judah’s hand.


Thorkild Jacobsen, “Death in Mesopotamia (abstract),” Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 26 (Mesopotamia 8) (1980), p. 22; cf. Hallo, 1983, note 7.


Samuel Noah Kramer in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, James B. Pritchard, ed. (princeton: 1969), p. 496, line 11; cf. Hallo, 1983, note 8.


Léon Legrdin, Ur Excavations: Texts, Vol. 3, Busines Documents of the Third Dynasty of Ur (Publications of the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, to Mesopotamia, 1937). Nos. 617, 620, 623, 666.


The history of the Mesopotamian “toggle-pin” has recently been traced in all possible detail, from its first emergence as a kind of safety-pin designed to fasten clothing, to its later replacement by the fibula. Its secondary role as a mount for cylinder seals is confirmed, but its native name is identified as búr in Sumerian and tudittu in Akkadian, rather than as bulug and pulukku respctively, as in my article. See Harold Klein, “Tudittum,” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 73 (1983), pp. 255–284.


Anson F. Rainey, “The Cuneiform Inscription on a Votive Cylinder from Beer Sheba,” in Beer-Sheba I, Excavations at Tel Beer-Sheba, 1969–1971 Seasons, Yohanan Aharoni, ed. (Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology: 1973), pp. 61–70.


Translations here and elsewhere after NJPS version (the New Jewish Publication Society 1962–1982) except as otherwise noted.


Judith A. Franke, “Presentation Seals of the Ur III/Isin-Larsa Period,” pp. 61–66, and I. J. Gelb, “Typology of Mesopotamian Seal Inscriptions,” pp. 107–126, in Gibson and Biggs.


Rainey, 1973, p. 65.


The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD) K, p. 544c.


Franz Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, translated by William W. Hallo (Beacon Press: Boston, 1972), pp. 156–204.


Marvin Pope, Song of Songs: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary The Anchor Bible, 7C (Doubleday & Company, Inc.: New York, 1977), pp. 210–299.


William L. Rathje, “New Tricks for Old Seals: A Progress Report,” in Gibson and Biggs, pp 25–32.


Samuel Noah Kramer, “Ur-Nammu’s Death and Burial,” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 21 (1967), pp. 104–122, line 119: “a lapis-lazuli seal hanging on a dagger.”


CAD K, p. 544c; cf. CAD N, 1, p. 303b; Beatrice L. Goff, “The Rôle of Amulets in Mesopotamian Ritual Texts,” The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld institutes 19 (1956), pp. 35 f. = Goff, Symbols of Prehistoric Mesopotamia (Yale University Press: New Haven and London, 1963), p. 208


CAD N, 1, p. 303b; cf. Erica Reiner, “The Etiological Myth of the ‘Seven Sages,’” Oriwntalia 30(1961), pp. 1–11.


Hallo, “The Royal Inscriptions of Ur: A Typology,” Hebrew Union College Annual 33 (1962), p. 14, note 107; Hallo, 1983, p. 13.


Goff, 1956 and 1963.


F. I. Dölger, Sphragis: eine altchristliche Taufbezeichnung in ihren Beziehungen zur profanen und religiösen Kultur des Altertums (=Studien zur Geschichte und Kultur des Altertums V 3–4) (1911).


Rosenzweig, 1972, p. 380