Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research
A stamp seal excavated at Sardis in 2011 is a local product dating to the period of the Lydian Kingdom. It was found in a churned-up deposit along with artifacts dating before the mid-6th century BCE, including a large proportion of high-status items: the seal itself and an ivory furniture inlay showing a female figure holding a lion upside down, as well as fine pottery, bronze arrowheads, a few scattered human bones, and other items. The deposit seems to be destruction debris from the Persian sack of the city in ca. 550 b.c.e. The seal is unique and is one of the only artifacts available to help us understand the administration of the Lydian Kingdom, to see what seal art looked like before the Persians arrived in Lydia, and to help us interpret the bureaucratic system and the cultural milieu of individual taste at Sardis in the Lydian period. A modest little seal thus has a great deal of importance in our analysis and interpretation of historical events, political developments, and society in general in Lydia during the years before 550 BCE.
Dusinberre, Elspeth, "Administration, Interaction, and Identity in Lydia before the Persian Empire: A New Seal from Sardis" (2017). Classics Faculty Contributions. 8.
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