The Hare has lost his Spectacles. Notes on Contest Scenes, Early Occurrences


  • Reinhard Dittmann


Contest Scene, Early Dynastic glyptic, Diyala


The Contest Scene is beyond doubt the most popular motif of the Early Dynastic glyptic. In this short contribution I will focus exclusively on material from the Diyala sites, excavated by Frankfort and his team as well as on the SIS-material from Ur.


Asher-Grewe, J. M. 1985. Frauen in altsumerischer Zeit, Bibliotheca Mesopotamica 18. Malibu: Undena Publication.

Benati, G. and Lecompte, C. 2014. New Light on the Early Archives from Ur: The ‘Ancient Room’ Tablet Hoard. In R. A. Stucky, O. Kaelin and H.-P. Mathys (eds), Proceedings of the 9th ICAANE, University of Basel, Vol. 3: 13-30. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag.

Boehmer, R. M. 1999. Uruk: Früheste Siegelabrollungen, AUWE 24. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern Verlag.

Charvát, P. 2005. The Iconography of Pristine Statehood. Painted Pottery and Seal Impressions from Susa, Southwestern Iran. Prague: Charles University Karolinum Press.

Collon, D. 1987. First Impressions. Cylinder Seals in the Ancient Near East. London, British Museum Publications.

Dittmann, R. 1986. Seals, Sealings and Tablets: Thoughts on the Changing Pattern of Administrative Control from the Late-Uruk to the Proto-Elamite period at Susa. In W. Röllig and U. Finkbeiner (eds), Gamdat Nasr: Period or Regional Style, Beihefte zum Tübinger Atlas des Vorderen Orients 62: 332-66. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag.

Dittmann, R. 2012. Multiple Sealed Hollow Balls. A Fresh Look at the Uruk System almost Thirty Years Later. In H. D. Baker, K. Kaniuth and A. Otto (eds), Stories of Long Ago. Festschrift für Michael D. Roaf, AOAT 397: 69-90. Münster: Ugarit Verlag.

Dittmann, R. 2013. Glyptic and Patterns of Urbanization - A Humble Approach. In Th. Kämmerer and S. Rogge (eds), Patterns of Urban Societies, AOAT 390/2: 35-137. Münster: Ugarit Verlag.

Dittmann, R. forthcoming. A Spotlight on the Early Dynastic IIIb Period in the Diyala. In G. J. Selz and K. Wagensonner (eds), Orientalistische Kunstgeschichte(n). Festschrift für Erika Bleibtreu, Wien: Wiener Offene Orientalistik 1.

Evans, J. M. 2007. The Square Temple at Tell Asmar and the Construction of Early Dynastic Mesopotamia, ca. 2900-2350 B.C. American Journal of Archaeology 111: 599‒632.

Frankfort, H. 1939. Cylinder Seals. A Documentary Essay on the Art and Religion of the Ancient Near East. London: Gregg Press.

Frankfort, H. 1955. Stratified Cylinder Seals from the Diyala Region, OIP LXXII. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Karg, N. 1984. Untersuchungen zur älteren Frühdynastischen Glyptik Babyloniens, Baghdader Forschungen 8. Mainz am Rhein: Philipp von Zabern Verlag.

Legrain, L. 1936. Archaic Seal-Impressions, Ur Excavations Vol. III. London: British Museum Press.

Martin, H. P. 1988. Fara: A Reconstruction of the Ancient Mesopotamian City of Shuruppak. Birmingham: C. Martin.

Romano, L. 2015. Holding the Cup: Evolution of Symposium and Banquet Scenes in the Early Dynastic Period. In R. Dittmann and G. J. Selz (eds), It’s a Long Way to a Historiography of the Early Dynastic Period(s), Altertumskunde des Vorderen Orients 15: 289-302. Münster: Ugarit Verlag.

Selz, G. 1983. Die Bankettszene. Entwicklung eines 'überzeitlichen' Bildmotivs in Mesopotamien von der Frühdynastischen bis zur Akkad-Zeit, Freiburger Altorientalische Studien 11. Wiesbaden: F. Steiner Verlag.



How to Cite

Dittmann, R. (2017). The Hare has lost his Spectacles. Notes on Contest Scenes, Early Occurrences. Ash-Sharq: Bulletin of the Ancient Near East – Archaeological, Historical and Societal Studies, 1(1), 162–170. Retrieved from




Similar Articles

1 2 3 > >> 

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.