session on the identification of stones used in the manufacture of cylinder and
stamp seals took place at the RMAH on Thursday June 19th. The
training was organized by and aimed at the young researchers working on the
Antiquity Department’s glyptic collections, and quickly joined by other
colleagues from the department.
Geologist Thierry De Putter of the RMCA was invited to share his expertise and kindly offered to present an overview of the rocks and minerals we generally encounter in museum collections.
By taking a closer look under the microscope at a selection of objects, particularly a number of cylinder seals in various dark-coloured stones dating from the Djemdet Nasr and Akkadian periods, the GMREH’s glyptic team discovered the subtleties in distinguishing between stones that, at first glance, look very similar.