A common design in the ancient Near East, the winged sun disk was originally a royal symbol; later, it had only apotropaic (for averting evil) or decorative significance. The representation of the sun disk was slightly different in each country; the horizontal one on this seal is characteristic of the Israelites (see D. Parayre, in Benjamin Sass and C. Uehlinger, eds., Studies in the Iconography of Northwest Semitic Inscribed Seals, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis [Fribourg, 1993], pp. 34–35, 45).