|Budget Amount *help
¥1,400,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,400,000)
Fiscal Year 1994 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1993 : ¥900,000 (Direct Cost : ¥900,000)
This research had originally aimed at studying oaths in the ancient Mesopotamian society and their religious background. When I started to study the seals of the Neo-Assyrian period (ca. 1000-600 BC) which should form a part of the research, I was allowed to consider some important unpublished seals. I focused, therefore, on the study of seals and found the facts as follow :
1. According to the seal inscriptions the owners of the seals were a god, a priest, kings, officials, etc. The owner is often depicted on the seal as a worshiper before a depiction of a god and/or a goddess. A eunuch's seal depicts a beardless worshiper. At that time there were two groups of the officials, namely the "bearded" and the "eunuchs". If a seal shows a beardless worshiper without inscription, it can be assumed a eunuch's seal. Based on these principles I recognized a high proportion of eunuchs' seals among the Neo-Assyrian seals. This coinsides with the fact that the eunuchs had high positions in the Neo-Assyrian bureaucracy. The inscribed seals of governors reveal that many of them were eunuchs.
2. I identified the votive seal of a governor of the city Ashur. This seal had not been regarded as a votive seal because the inscription had not been read correctly. As the inscription tells us the seal was dedicated by the governor to the goddess Gula on behalf of the longevity of the king, his lord. On the seal are depicted a beardless worshiper, the king, and the goddess. As mentioned above, it can be assumed that the governor was a eunuch because of his beardless depiction.
3. I concluded from the analyzes of the depictions on the seals that the officials especially worshiped the god Ninurta and his divine consort Gula. One of Ninurta's roles in a myth was to venquish a monster. Vanquishing enemies, the Neo-Assyrian king was identified with Ninurta in the ideology of the Neo-Assyrian kingship. This could be a significant reason why Ninurta and Gula were often worshiped by the officials.