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SALAMIS IN THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS.
BY ALEXANDER PALMA DI CESNOLÀ, F.S.A.,
have been employed in Egyptian art, and even then not of remote antiquity, still small cups of crystal and other objects have been found of a later age. In Babylonia and Assyria cylinders said to be of 1500 b.c., and cones of crystal, some as old as the sixth century b.c., have been discovered. Probably the earliest dated pieces of crystal that have been found are the portions of the throne of Sennacherib, b.c. 705 to 681, inscribed with that monarch's name in cuneiform characters, recently found at Kouyunjik. They are now preserved in the Department of Oriental Antiquities in the British Museum. Lentoid intaglio gems, apparently of the sixth century before the Christian era, of Greek art, are also found in the Isles of the Archipelago, and scarabǽi with Phœnician inscriptions have been discovered in Syria. The use of crystal, however, for cameos appears to have come into vogue after the age of Alexander the Great, or the third century B.c., and crystal vases were in common use at the time of the Romans in the first century A.D., and subsequently. Many intaglio engraved stones of this material exist of all periods. The clue to the date of the pendants here figured is slight, but the form given in fig. 125 is not very old."
YLINDERS are, according to Mr. King,1 the most ancient form of the signet. They are, for the most part, perfectly cylindrical stones, from about one to three inches in length, the respective magnitudes being regulated by the wealth, importance, and social rank of the owner. The diameter of these cylinders is generally less than half their length. In a few examples, the form is varied, by a kind of entasis, into a barrel shape; in others, the converse is found, their sides being like those of a dice-box, slightly concave. A comparatively large hole was pierced longitudinally through the cylinder, to admit a soft woollen cord, by means of which it was tied round the owner's wrist, like a bracelet. This method of use accounts for their seldom having metal mountings when disinterred amongst Assyrian remains, and my own experience among the tombs of Salamis confirms this fact. These objects have been found in many sites of the Assyrian world in vast abundance. The British Museum possesses a very large series, many with royal names, and composed of a variety of hard stones. Some of the most important have been described, and a few figured, in the new Guide to the Kouyunjik Gallery. The very rare examples extant, mounted on swivel rings in massive gold,
1 Antique Gems and Rings. By C. W. King. 2 vols. 1872.
prove, by the hieroglyphics engraved upon them, that they were, mere adaptations by the Egyptians to their national fashion of the swivel-mounted scarabǽus, during the time of the subjugation of Egypt to the rule of the Persians. It is not necessary here to examine the different archaeological points of general interest which are exhibited by engraved cylinders. The student who wishes for information on this subject may with advantage consult an article by Dr. Birch, entitled " Engraved Stones," in the English Cyclo-pǽdia, Arts and Sciences, Supplement (p. 882), where several examples are figured, and references given to the principal works on this branch of ancient art. The chapters in Mr. King's book which are devoted to the consideration of Oriental engraved cylinders may also be perused with beneficial results. As regards the cylinders which were discovered by me during
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