Thousands of Roman Seal Impressions Unearthed in Turkey

News November 27, 2023

Turkey Doiiche Seal Impressions
(© Asia Minor Research Centre)
Turkey Doiiche Seal Impressions

GAZIANTEP, TURKEY—Live Science reports that more than 2,000 additional seal impressions have been recovered from the rare site of an archive building in southern Turkey’s ancient religious center of Doliche, which was dedicated to the Roman god of the sky and thunder, Jupiter Dolichenus. The archive is estimated to have been in use from the mid-second to mid-third centuries A.D. The seal impressions were formed when pieces of clay were fastened to strings used to close legal documents and letters written on papyrus or parchment. A seal was then pressed into the clay to mark it with an image. “These seals display a wide array of images,” said Michael Blömer of the University of Münster. “Many of them show religious imagery like gods and goddesses…others show portraits and some also have inscriptions.” The archive is thought to have been destroyed by fire, perhaps when several cities in the region were burned by the Persian king Šāpūr I. Blömer suggests that the excavation of the archive building could shed new light on this type of public architecture. For more on seals recovered from Doliche, go to "Seals of Approval."

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