Bronze seal for use with a seal holder. The Caduceus, the winged staff of the Greek god Hermes (Mercury to the Romans), is one of the oldest symbols in human history, common to different civilisations. Its image, often depicting two snakes twisted in opposite directions around a rod adorned with wings, has been discovered in locations far removed from Greek and Roman temples, including on tablets from the ancient Vedic Indian civilisation. Its earliest known appearance is on a cup belonging to king Gudea of the Mesopotamian city of Lagash, at the junction of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, on which the symbol is clearly engraved.
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