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Old 1st January 2015, 02:52 PM   #1
Trent
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Default MYSTERY WRITING ON ANCIENT SEAL FOR ID

I recently purchased a collection of ancient artifacts from a dealer and this object in particular has stumped me. I believe this to be an ancient seal of sort and is carved from green jasper. The writing on this seal is unlike anything I have seen, resembling characters similar to Proto-Canaanite, Linear A/B, Phoenician, and Greek. Any information on this piece would be greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 2nd January 2015, 09:07 AM   #2
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That's different Rrent.

What makes you think "Ancient" though?

To my eye Those "letters" are clearly cut with a high speed spinning grind wheel. {Similar to Dremel etc.}

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Old 2nd January 2015, 01:48 PM   #3
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Thank you for commenting. The style of carving does appear crude, but is reflected in similar pieces from the time period. I have attached a couple seals that appear to be carved using a similar method.
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Old 2nd January 2015, 10:07 PM   #4
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Yours is cruder & includes high speed miss cuts ...

But What is the provenance of those other pieces that your using to authenticate yours as looking similar??

Comparing multiple potentially dubious items is not much of a way forward. in true deduction
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Old 3rd January 2015, 10:53 PM   #5
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The inscription is in cunieform, but this type of writing was used for a number of languages. I see no reason to doubt the antiquity of the item, but admit that my eyesight is not what it once was.
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Old 4th January 2015, 02:41 AM   #6
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I am very intrigued that you believe the script to be cuneiform. I actually purchased this piece along with a few cylinder seals which were of Babylonian origin. Do you know what the inscription says or what it may relate to? I am familiar with cuneiform tablets and the writing on those looks quite different from the writing on my piece. Could my item contain a more simplistic style of script?
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Old 4th January 2015, 10:08 PM   #7
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It's cuneiform, for sure, modified to be cut into the stone with a long cut, and a short cut for the fat end of the wedge. I haven't seen known for sure to be authentic cuneiform inscriptions on stone done like this; the classic examples I've seen use proper wedges cut into the stone.

If one wanted to approximate cuneiform on a stone, using a rotating cutting wheel, this is probably the easiest way.
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Old 5th January 2015, 01:43 AM   #8
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Do you know if there are any ways to test if this is a true ancient piece?
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Old 5th January 2015, 09:52 PM   #9
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Microscopic examination of tool marks is good. But then you need to know what you're looking at. But since, as noted above, it looks like it was done using a Dremel or similar, I'd call it almost certainly modern. (IMO, "almost" is generous.)
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Old 5th January 2015, 10:24 PM   #10
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I believe seal engraving was done by the use of a small wheel driven by a bow in the manner glass engraving is still done today.

The principle of a lathe is as ancient a bit of tech as there is, powered by a bow or a treadle. Oil or water with powdered abreasive are splashed on the wheel and work and a steady hand and good eye are the rest.

It would be hard to tell without super close ups old from new.

Wear and "feel", combined with experience, are the only way to tell, and then you could get into a case of dueling experts!
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Old 9th January 2015, 11:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakethetrees
I believe seal engraving was done by the use of a small wheel driven by a bow in the manner glass engraving is still done today.

The principle of a lathe is as ancient a bit of tech as there is, powered by a bow or a treadle. Oil or water with powdered abreasive are splashed on the wheel and work and a steady hand and good eye are the rest.

It would be hard to tell without super close ups old from new.

Wear and "feel", combined with experience, are the only way to tell, and then you could get into a case of dueling experts!


Your theory is correct, the difference between craftsman & idiots operating a dremel is clear to see to anyone with experience of genuine pieces though.
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Old 10th January 2015, 01:13 AM   #12
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In a past life I have done a bit of lathe engraving and started to build a Roman era foot treadle lathe. I agree your seal and comparison examples are crude beyond belief.
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