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Assyrian Cylinder Seal

Using symbols to represent words and concepts

By around 8,000 years ago, humans were using symbols to represent words and concepts.  As seen in this Assyrian lapis lazuli cylinder seal from Bablyon, Iraq, cylinder seals were rolled across wet clay tablet to produce raised designs. True forms of writing developed over the next few thousand years.

Assyrian Lapis Lazuli Cylinder Seal and Clay Impression
Image Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution
Assyrian Cylinder Seal
Exhibit Item
Date of discovery:
Discovered by:
Site: Babylon, Iraq
Page last updated: March 29, 2016