For the ancients, an intaglio seal might have a variety of meanings or functions. Engraved with the crest of an individual or a clan, such a seal might act as an insignia of rank, a legal signature, or a mark of property. Adorned with religious symbols or magic images, an intaglio might assume some spiritual importance, or certify the contract between men and their gods. It might be a talisman of good luck, one whose imagery assured bountiful success or protection from evil. This exquisite intaglio, created in the Upper Euphrates Valley, depicts a regal horned antelope or mountain goat. The animal seems virile and vital, a metaphor for independence and power.