Zev Radovan, courtesy of Ephraim Stern

Flames blaze forth from three altars on this stamp seal (bottom object) made at Dor in imitation of Babylonian seals during the period of Babylonian rule of the city, in the early sixth century B.C.E. (The upper object is a modern clay impression of this seal.) The three altars appear as rectangles topped by multiple horizontal lines. Above them, the flames from a burnt offering take the form of a V embracing a double, inverted V. A pair of dots separate each altar from the adjacent altar and single dots flank the scene.

This seal imitates a well-known Babylonian motif, which has a god and a worshiper flanking an altar or “tree of life.” In this case however, the local provincial artist engraved two additional altars in place of the more complex human figures.