Year: 0-100 d.C.
Dimension: Diameter 1 cm
Imperial Period, I century A.D. A grenade oval intaglio with the figure of a griffin in profile to the left, the mythological creature with the head of an eagle and the body of a lion.
Glyptic, or "glyptic art", covers the field of small carved stones, including cylinder seals and inscriptions, especially in an archaeological context. Though they were keenly collected in antiquity, most carved gems originally functioned as seals, often mounted in a ring; intaglio designs register most clearly when viewed by the recipient of a letter as an impression in hardened wax. A finely carved seal was practical, as it made forgery more difficult - the distinctive personal signature did not really exist in antiquity.