Carved from a small yellowish beige pebble irregularly speckled with red, this seal is a small cylinder with a smooth and well-polished surface. Its perfect shape would have been achieved by the use of the centrifugal force produced by the rapid rotation of a potter’s wheel.
The hole for the suspension string pierces the piece diametrically: a basic evidence to prove the existence of private property in the Near Eastern society, seals always accompanied their owner and could be suspended from the wrist, the neck or a belt.
Largely widespread in the proto-Sumerian world, though less attested than animal-shaped seals, such cylinder seals usually display the same kind of highly stylized decoration engraved with a bouterolle: the subjects represented are similar and limited to groups of animals depicted in different attitudes (walking, seated, etc.). Here, arranged in a circle around a central hollow, are three quadrupeds that can be identified with canids because of their tails.