The collection of over 1,100 cylinder seals and impressions on clay, now housed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, is, after that of the British Museum, the richest of the kind in England. Here we have memories of Oxford Worthies beginning with the Reverend Greville Chester, who a hundred years ago travelled afar and brought home many antiquities. But it is appropriate that the first seal to be illustrated in this comprehensive catalogue is a boldly carved, prehistoric specimen purchased in Aleppo, in 1913, by T. E. Lawrence of Arabia, quondam Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, friend and protCgC of D. G. Hogarth who was then Keeper of the Museum. To these two men we must add a third, no less famous, namely Leonard Woolley who was then directing the British Museum's excavations at Carchemish: the extensive travels of this trio not only in north Syria, but also throughout the Levant, enabled them to acquire from the peasantry these delectable little souvenirs of personal identity. Carved cylinder seals, sometimes worn as amulets, were often made for the purpose of registering ownership to property. There must have been much competition to acquire them, for Lawrence writing from Carchemish in a letter dated ‘End of February ’ says to Hogarth: ‘Seriously, this last half-dozen, bought by me on the fringe of Abu Galgal, is very good. I rushed back, and have not been down again, because some villains began a dig at Deve Hüyük.… I got some good fibulae which are yours, and not Kenyon's this time at all events…’. Nonetheless, the British Museum was not forgotten and was moreover acquiring some share of the spoils from Carchemish (PL. XXXII).