Seal with Unicorn and Inscription

c. 2000 BCE

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Indus Valley seals appear to have been hung on a string that passed through a boss on the reverse side. This animal, carved with detailed markings around his neck and forequarters, has his head positioned over an object on a stand that may be interpreted as an altar or brazier or censer; it is not known whether it is for offerings to or sacrifice of the animal.

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  • Title: Seal with Unicorn and Inscription
  • Date Created: c. 2000 BCE
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 3.5 x 3.6 cm (1 3/8 x 1 7/16 in.)
  • Provenance: (William H. Wolff [1906–1991], New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Seals
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1973.161
  • Medium: steatite
  • Fun Fact: Specialists disagree as to whether single-horned bovines actually lived during the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, four thousand years ago.
  • Department: Indian and Southeast Asian Art
  • Culture: Pakistan, Indus Valley civilization
  • Credit Line: Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund
  • Collection: Indian Art - Indus Valley
  • Accession Number: 1973.161

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