Latest Issue of Science News


Ancient seal technology shows its age

Somehow, ancient Mesopotamians carved elaborate scenes on the sides of crystal cylinders just centimeters tall. They even did this in reverse, so a cylinder would imprint its owner's mark when rolled across soft clay.

Archeologists have long guessed at engravers' techniques by studying their designs. Now, researchers have used modern technologies to illuminate the ancient ones, and they've found that Mesopotamians adopted one of their most efficient engraving methods some 1,500 years later than thought.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.