We had heard a pride of lions close to camp (Entim) the night before and managed to find them the following morning, just as the sun broke over the horizon to provide the most incredible warm light. The breath was the icing on the cake and gave the finishing touch to the scene. Masai Mara, Kenya.
This seal shows a king standing on sphinxes while holding a lion in each hand with palm tree and a winged sun disk above.
Even though cylinder seals had been carved in Mesopotamia for over three thousand years, the form was by no means exhausted by the time of the Persian conquest. Some of the most exquisite cylinders were produced in the Achaemenid workshops. On this seal it is no longer the nude bearded hero of the Akkadians who dominates the animals, but the Achaemenid king himself in a beautifully balanced yet artificial composition in which all elements are subservient to and a reflection of the king’s majesty.