British Museum

The Seal of Adda. The small incised cylinder seal (left) with a hole in the middle was probably worn about the neck. The seal was used as identification. When rolled across a receptive surface, such as moist clay, the seal produced the impression seen on the right.

The cuneiform at the upper left of the impression identifies the seal as belonging to a scribe named Adda. The design depicts the rising of the sun god Utu at the place of sunrise in the mountains (at the bottom center). At the right of the sun god is Enki, the god of the fertile sweet waters. From his shoulders flows the water filled with swimming fish; he holds a bird that may be the thunderbird. Behind Enki is his vizier Isimud, who (like Janus) looks forward and back. The god at the left of the sun is probably Inanna, and behind her the storm god, probably Ninurta, identified by his bow and arrow (lightning) and accompanied by a lion (which, according to Jacobsen, roars like the thunder).