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Seals from the Near East and contacts with Saravati Sindhu Valley 

After: Robert H. Brunswig, Jr., Asko Parpola, and Daniel Potts

seal1.jpg (4108 bytes)seal011.jpg (6020 bytes) 9908. Iraq museum; glazed steatite; perhaps from an Iraqi site; the one-horned bull, the standard are below a six-sign inscription.
seal2.jpg (5582 bytes) 9351; Nippur; ca. 13th cent. BC; white stone; zebu bull and two pictograms.
seal3.jpg (3413 bytes) 9851; Louvre Museum; Luristan; unglazed, gray steatite; short-honed bull and 4 pictograms.
seal4.jpg (3691 bytes) Foroughi collection; Luristan; medium gray steatite; bull, crescent, star and net square; of the Dilmun seal type.
seal5.jpg (9695 bytes) 3255; Louvre Museum; Luristan; light yellow stone; seal impression; one side shows four eagles; the eagles hold snakes in their beaks; at the center is a human figure with outstretched limbs; obverse of the seal shows an animal, perhaps a hyena or boar striding across the field, with a smaller animal of the same type depicted above it; comparable to the seal found in Harappa, Vats 1940, II: Pl. XCI.255.seal11.jpg (12245 bytes)
seal6.jpg (9488 bytes) 9701; Failaka; unglazed steatite; an arc of four pictograms above the hindquarter of a bull.
seal7.jpg (25646 bytes) 9702; seal, impression, inscription; Failaka; brownish-grey unglazed steatite; Indus pictograms above a short-horned bull.
seal8.jpg (9916 bytes) 9602; seal, impression; Qala'at al-Bahrain; green steatite; short-horned bull and five pictograms. Found in association with an Isin-Larsa type tablet bearing three Amorite names.
seal9.jpg (5405 bytes) 9601; Qala'at al-Bahrain; light-grey steatite; hindquarters of a bull and two pictograms.
seal10.jpg (7726 bytes) Seal impression; Dept. of Antiquities, Bahrain; three Harapan-style bulls;
seal12.jpg (18420 bytes) Qala'at al-Bahrain; ca. 2050-1900 BC; tablet, found in the same level where 8 Dilmun seals and six Harappan type weights were found. Three Amorite names are: Janbi-naim; Ila-milkum; Jis.i-tambu (son of Janbi-naim)
seal13.jpg (20800 bytes) Two seals from Gonur 1 in the Murghab delta; dark brown stone (Sarianidi 1981 b: 232-233, Fig. 7, 8); eagle engraced on one face.

[Robert H. Brunswig, Jr. et al, New Indus Type and Related Seals from the Near East, 101-115 in: Daniel T. Potts (ed.), Dilmun: New Studies in the Archaeology and Early History of Bahrain, Berlin, Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1983; each seal is referenced by a four-digit number which is registered in the Finnish concordance.]

Many scholars have noted the contacts between the Mesopotamian and Sarasvati Sindhu (Indus) Civilizations, in terms of cultural history, chronology, artefacts (beads, jewellery), pottery and seals found from archaeological sites in the two areas.

"...the four examples of round seals found in Mohenjodaro show well-supported sequences, whereas the three from Mesopotamia show sequences of signs not paralleled elsewhere in the Indus Script. But the ordinary square seals found in Mesopotamia show the normal Mohenjodaro sequences. In other words, the square seals are in the Indian language, and were probably imported in the course of trade; while the circular seals, although in the Indus script, are in a different language, and were probably manufactured in Mesopotamia for a Sumerian- or Semitic-speaking person of Indian descent..." [G.R. Hunter,1932.   Mohenjodaro--Indus Epigraphy, JRAS: 466-503]

The acculturation of Meluhhans (probably, Indus people) residing in Mesopotamia in the late third and early second millennium BC, is noted by their adoption of Sumerian names (Parpola, Parpola and Brunswig 1977: 155-159). "The adaptation of Harappan motifs and script to the Dilmun seal form may be a further indication of the acculturative phenomenon, one indicated in Mesopotamia by the adaptation of Harappan traits to the cylinder seal." (Brunswig et al, 1983, p. 110).

Asthana, S.P. 1976. History and archaeology of India's contacts with other countires: from earliest times to 300 BC, B.R. Publications Corp., Delhi.

Bibby, T.G., 1958. The 'ancient Indian Style' Seals from Bahrain, Antiquity 33: 243-246.

During Caspers, E.C.L. 1972. Harappan trade in the Arabian Gulf in the third millennium BC, Mesopotamia 7: 167-191.

During Caspers, E.C.L. 1982. Sumerian traders and businessmen residing in the Indus Valley cities: a critical assessment of archaeological evidence, Annali 42: 337-380.

Chakrabarti, D.K. 1977. India and West Asia--an alternative approach, Man and Environment 1:25-38.

Chakrabarti, D.K. 1978. Seals as evidence of Indus-West Asia Interrelations, in D. Chattopadhyaya, ed., History and Society, Essays in Honour of Prof. Niharranjan Ray, Calcutta, p. 93-116.

Corbiau, S. 1936. An Indo-Sumerian Cylinder, Iraq 3: 100-103.

Frankfort, H. 1934. The Indus Civilization and the Near East, Annual Bibliography of Indian Archaeology VII: 1-12.

Gadd, C.J. 1932. Seals of Ancient Indian Style found at Ur, Proc. of the British Academy, XVII: 191-210.

Gadd, C.J. and Smith, S. 1924. The new links between Indian and Babylonian Civilizations, Illus. London News, Oct. 4, p. 614-616.

Gibson, McG. 1976. The Nippur expedition, The Oriental Institute of the Univ. of Chicago Annual Report 1975/76: 26,28.

Kjaerum, P. 1980. Seals of Dilmun-Type from Failaka, Kuwait, PSAS 10: 45-53.

Kjaerum, P. 1983. The Stamp and Cylinder Seals 1:1, Failaka/Dilmun: The second millennium settlements, Jutland Arch. Soc. Publ. XVII:1, Aarhus.

Mackay, E.J.H. 1925. Sumerian connections with Ancient India, JRAS: 696-701.

Mackay, E.J.H. 1931. Further Excavations at Mohenjo-daro, New Delhi.

Marshall, Sir J. 1931. Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Civilization, London.

Masson, V.M. and Sarianidi, V.I. 1972. Central Asia, Thames and Hudson, London.

Nissen, H.J. 1982. Linking distanct areas archaeologically, paper read at the 1st International Conference on Pakistan Archaeology, Peshawar.

Parpola, A. 1984. New correspondences between Harappan and Near Eastern Glyptic Art, in B. Allchin, ed., South Asian Archaeology 1981, Univ. of Cambridge Oriental Publications 34, Cambridge.

Parpola, S., Parpola, A., and Brunswig, R.H. Jr. 1977. The Meluhha village: evidence of acculturation of Harappan traders in late third millennium Mesopotamia? JESHO XX: 129-165.

Ratnagar, S. 1981. Encounters, the westerly trade of the Harappan Civilization, Oxford Univ. Press, Delhi.

Tosi, M. 1982. A possible Harappan Seaport in Eastern Arabia: Ra's Al Junayz in the Sultanate of Oman, paper read at the 1st International Conference on Pakistan Archaeology, Peshawar.

Vats, M.S. 1940. Excavations at Harappa, Calcutta.

Wheeler, Sir M. 1968. The Indus Civilization, Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge.

Yule, P. 1981. Zu den Beziehungen zwischen Mesopotamien und dem Indusgebiet im 3. und beginnenden 2. Jahrtausend, Allgemeine und Vergleichende Archaologie Kolloquien 1:191-205.

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