Seal impression of female bust wearing wreath of corn - ROM2016_15130_21


Seal impression of female bust wearing wreath of corn

Medium:Stamped, unfired clay
Geography: Edfu, Egypt
Date: c. 246-115 BC
Period: Possibly reign of Cleopatra II or Berenice II, Ptolemaic period
1.6 x 1.5 cm
Object number: 906.12.186
Not on view

Clay sealings from Ptolemaic Egypt

These ancient sealings were found at Edfu, Upper Egypt; they were used to seal official or private letters written on papyrus rolls. The letters or documents were rolled up and tied with string which passed through the lumps of clay flattened by the pressure of the seal. In some instances, more than one seal impression was made on a single piece of clay. The reverse side of an impression may show the marks of the papyrus texture and the groove left by the string.

The range of subjects of the Hellenistic seals was extensive. Some of them may be our only record of the likenesses of certain Ptolemaic kings and queens. The unique mixture of Greek and native Egyptian influences is also evident in many of the impressions.

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