142. An Orange Carnelian Seal

Bactria, 2nd century BC
Size: 3 cm

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The seal shows a royal couple celebrating Nowruz, holding poppies, that look so beautiful over the valleys of Afghanistan but are now considered more dangerous than the Taliban. The Queen wears a diadem, denoting her station; the man in the foreground, elderly, balding and bearded, wears a shawl engraved with flowers. They probably represent Queen Agatocleia and Strato I. Coins provide several examples of royal couples, such as the parents of Eucratides I, king of Bactria, Heliocles and Queen Laodice.