CYLINDER SEALS (see Writing). A small cylinder of metal, stone, baked clay, frit or other hard substance on which was usually engraved a design (commonly a religious scene) and/or the name and patronymic of the owner. Before the introduction of writing and until the 7th cent. b.c. such seals were used alongside stamp seals. Thereafter the seal set in a signet ring gradually predominated (
H. Frankfort,(A Documentary Essay on the Art and Religion of the Ancient Near East), rep. ed. (1965).