Britich Museum (BM 89326)

Not-Adam and not-Eve. “Is it not the very acme of likelihood that there is some connection between this old Babylonian picture and the Biblical tale of the Fall of Man?” Delitzsch asked about this Mesopotamian cylinder seal (shown here; see photo of seal impression) from the 23rd or 22nd century B.C.E. George Smith, an Assyriologist at the British Museum, which still owns the seal, had first suggested in the mid-19th century that the image of a man, woman, serpent and tree was related to the Genesis story. For Delitzsch, the seal provided further archaeological evidence that the Hebrew Bible was based on Babylonian mythology. Today, scholars agree that the so-called “Adam and Eve Seal” has no connection to the biblical forebears. The figures are identified as a male god at left and a female worshiper. The palm tree at center and serpent are fertility symbols.