SEALS & Scarabs

Available from the Baidun collections are a wide range of seals and scarabs, dating back to the early years of recorded Levant history:

  • Cylindrical seals, are from 3-5 cm long, pierced lengthwise, first originating in Mesopotamia, made primarily of hematite. When rolled over soft clay, they imparted a long roll of impressions. Clay vessels found in Palestine bear impressions from the early Bronze Age (from about the 3rd millenium BC), extending forward.

  • Scarab seals originated in Egypt, were generally small at about 18x12 mm and primarily carved stone though some are molded. They were made in the likeness of the dung beetle - a symbol of the heavenly cycle of rebirth and regeneration -- used as amulets and impression seals. They appear in Erez Israel, particularly in the Hyskos period (18th-17th century BC)

  • Scaraboid seals became widespread in the 9th to 5th centuries BC - without beetle markings but used for signatures or to mark possessions in Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine.