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The Question of Identity: Ethnicity, Language, Religion, and Gender

Before Islam:  Mesopotamia

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Cylinder Seal Featuring the Goddess Ishtar

Cylinder Seal Featuring the Goddess Ishtar

This cylinder seal was made from a piece of black stone. It would have been rolled onto clay to produce a unique impression, or "signature," that was used either to indicate ownership or to safeguard personal possessions. This seal shows Ishtar, goddess of love and war, who is identified by the maces and scimitars that project from her shoulders and by the lion that she restrains with a rope and her foot.

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