cylinder seal
© UnknownAn example of a cylinder seal, this example found in East Azerbaijan, northwestern Iran.
Iranian archeologists have unearthed an ancient cylinder seal dating to at least 3,500 years ago in Iran's northern Mazandaran Province.

Archeological excavations at the Kelar Mound in the north of Iran have resulted in the discovery of a cylinder seal which dates back to the Neolithic Era; it is decorated with a drawing of a goat.

"The priceless object is believed to have been used in business and trading. It was probably used as a document and an index to determine the destination for trade," Mehdi Mousavi, head of the archeological team at Kelar Mound, said.

Further excavations and Carbon-14 studies on the relic are expected to reveal more precise information.

Oxford scientists have determined exact dates of Iran's Kelar Mound by studying ancient coal and bone samples. Although many archeologists believed that the area was not older than the Iron Age, Carbon-14 studies have dated the mound to more than 6000 years ago.