The massive lapis lazuli cylinder was found together with beads, scarabs and precious ornaments mixed up with raw material, carefully hidden by the last owner, probably a Parthian manufacturer of beads, beneath the floor of his house.
The storm god Adad, standing on a stylized pedestal, is shown with bolts of lightning in his hands, a lion-dragon on a leash lying at his feet. His garment is decorated with the image of a ziggurat and three star-discs one below the other, which are depicting gold or silver pendants. The initial Neo-Babylonian inscription, "Seal of the god Adad", was supplemented at first by the addition "Property of the god Marduk … of Esangila". The second Assyrian dedication "To the god Marduk, great lord, his lord, Esarhaddon, king of the universe, king of Assyria, has given [the seal] for his life" suggests that the seal was at one point misappropriated from the treasury of Esangila and that it was Esarhaddon (680-669 B.C.) who reversed the sacrilege.
The technique - positive carved inscriptions, raised relief - substantiates that the cylinder was never used for sealing, although very few impressions of god's seals are known. [Nadja Cholidis]