The Helmand Sistan Project

Seals and Seal Impressions

Seals are used as marks of identity on many objects in the ancient world and their impressions on bits of clay and on clay vessels often indicate ownership. We found a handful of seals at various survey sites. At Dam, we found a bronze bird seal common from early 2nd millennium sites in Turkmenistan and two bone seals that have parallels at Shahr-i Sokhta in Iranian Sistan. Several stone seals from Parthian or Sasanian times were also found. Seal impressions also provide evidence of the existence of seals from numerous periods, including several impressions that have Sasanian royal images. 

Bronze Age bird seal found at the site of Dam. There are numerous parallels found elsewhere in the region.
Sasanian seal impression on a sherd showing a king riding a horse, found embedded in a wall at Šna Qala.
Sasanian carnelian seal with wings, a crescent, and a star found on the surface near Qala 169.
A ceramic cube with impression of a lion on two sides and serpent on two others, found on the surface of Shahr-i Gholghola in 1972.