discovering the heart of Oman

Salut Museum


Stone seals

Stamp and cylinder seals from Salut

This newly found Iron Age seal comes from an area to the north of the Salut hill whose investigation just began in November 2015. In all likelihood it has to be identified with part of the Iron Age settlement that was overlooked by "Husn" Salut - found at last!

Among the small finds from Salut several stamp and cylinder seals have been unearthed. In antiquity, the seal was a very important object used, first and foremost, to mark ownership and, by extension, to protect its owner as an amulet.

All the seals were perforated to allow their hanging. They were made from hard black stone or grey soft-stone.
A quadrangular stamp seal (datable to the end of the third millennium BC) and probably imported from the Indus Valley, is representing a bull facing to the right and a rectangular element behind it (an altar or a manger).
Next to the image are signs traceable to the scripts of the Indus Valley.
Some cylinder seals dating to the Iron Age are similar, in form and style, to Mesopotamian or Near Eastern models, but likely were produced by local artisans. One cylinder seal is decorated with a row of five men holding hands that, when rolled, creates a continual motif punctuated at intervals with astral symbols, including a solar disc.
Another one depicts a horned animal standing between two stylized trees, with a symbol of the sun at its feet and three circles in the upper part of the scene.
Also seal pendants, datable to the Iron Age, are testified at Salut. They show different shapes (irregular pyramid, flattened teardrop, rectangular with rounded corners) and carved decorations, consisting in astral motifs, radial pattern, incised lines and dots.