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THOUSANDS Of These Have Been Found Around The Ancient World

  • čas přidán 20. 02. 2024
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    Scattered around the sites of ancient Mesopotamia are thousands of devices called cylinder seals. They are equal parts stamp, credit card, and jewelry. They were how people signed for things and proved who they were in the days before paper. It’s a fascinating relic of a time long past and proof that the same issues of authentication that blockchain was developed to solve have been a part of humanity from day one.
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    0:00 - Intro
    1:32 - Federal Authenticity
    3:20 - Ancient Identification
    4:40 - Advantages of Cylinder Seals
    7:31 - Seals as Status Symbols
    9:20 - Eventual Decline
    11:25 - Sponsor - Brilliant
  • Věda a technologie

Komentáře • 1,2K

  • @robsquared2
    @robsquared2 Před 3 měsíci +686

    Back then crypto bros had to go blind the old fashioned way by staring at the sun.

  • @yutakago1736
    @yutakago1736 Před 3 měsíci +1041

    In Japan, you need a seal and a signature for official document. You need to create a unique seal for yourself when you are in legal age to sign official document like opening a bank account or buying a house.

    • @schoolofrockcary6625
      @schoolofrockcary6625 Před 3 měsíci +75

      Korea as well

    • @anselpeneloperainblossom-s3489
      @anselpeneloperainblossom-s3489 Před 3 měsíci +51

      So, like a signet ring the Romans used?

    • @schoolofrockcary6625
      @schoolofrockcary6625 Před 3 měsíci +76

      @anselpeneloperainblossom-s3489 Technically it's a "stamp" but I have seen them on rings

    • @johnlovell8299
      @johnlovell8299 Před 3 měsíci +41

      Two factor auth then? :)

    • @marvinmartian6516
      @marvinmartian6516 Před 3 měsíci +31

      Yes 🙌 isn’t the Japanese story of origin very similar to ancient Sumerian mythology something about descendants from heaven… so many similarities. The royal sea of nibiru was a winged red disk same with Egypt and you find megalithic polygonal constructions as well as giant kofun swords fit for Gilgamesh. And the mountain gods who live in a volcano and the tall mountain spirits. The symbol for the origin myth even looks like the engineering cross section of a winged dragon. If only we could all step back and appreciate how much in common we all really have and that our differences are quite supplemental and refreshing to exchange. Deepest bow from America to our Japanese brothers and sisters. Need to learn from the polygonal megalith builders that our diversity makes us stronger together.

  • @alking9022
    @alking9022 Před 3 měsíci +335

    In the UK here and when I took out a mortgage 30 years ago I was lucky enough to be offered the original
    vellum copies attached to the property. They're covered in official seals, some straight on the vellum others
    hanging by ribbons.
    The bank gave them to me free because they were only going to throw them in the rubbish.

    • @AlexBTV4444
      @AlexBTV4444 Před 3 měsíci +18

      That is so cool!

    • @Jay-ln1co
      @Jay-ln1co Před 3 měsíci +34

      I want to believe a beefeater carried it from the backroom with a cryer ringing a bell and announcing that the deed had been signed on this day of our Lord.

    • @romxxii
      @romxxii Před 2 měsíci +5

      did they at least let you stamp them with your own wax seal? For fun?

    • @Bpaynee
      @Bpaynee Před 2 měsíci +6

      That is soooo cool! I'd love to look at that. Did you know that England used to also use tally sticks to keep records? The practice was discontinued in 1826, but when the Exchequer tried to destroy a bunch of them several years later, they accidentally caused westminster palace to burn down. Getting rid of old records can be a real task!

    • @mlr4524
      @mlr4524 Před 2 měsíci +6

      Why would they throw them out vs. give them to the local town / municipal authority for their records? That sounds criminal from a historical preservation perspective.

  • @rhonafenwick5643
    @rhonafenwick5643 Před 3 měsíci +413

    Another fascinating authentication technique used in Mesopotamia for particularly important documents was the use of envelopes. A clay tablet would be inscribed with a text and fired, and then inserted into a hollow enveloping shell of clay, on which they'd inscribe the same text. The envelope was then closed, and a stamp seal or cylinder seal would be used to seal it. So if there was ever any legal dispute over the authenticity of a document, the outer clay could be broken open, and the text on the inner tablet would be compared with the text on the envelope tablet to ensure that the text hadn't been forged or tampered with. In such cases, a document was often only admissible as evidence if it could be produced in its unopened envelope, to be broken open and examined by the law court. The use of an envelope plus a stamp/cylinder seal could be considered the earliest known method of two-factor authentication!

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +89

      Oh my god, I wish I’d seen that for this video! Good share, thanks!

    • @zuruumi9849
      @zuruumi9849 Před 2 měsíci +30

      Seems similar to a digital signature, except that the hash is the whole text and the public key is a hammer.

    • @sjsomething4936
      @sjsomething4936 Před 2 měsíci +6

      This is a super cool bit of information!

    • @aidanwoodward3975
      @aidanwoodward3975 Před 2 měsíci +2

      I feel like this could be used in the modern age.
      To check for fake ID'S and counterfeit bills

    • @CodingWithUnity
      @CodingWithUnity Před 2 měsíci +4

      Reminds me of a society that was used to living advanced but then got stranded on a planet and did their best to replicate the tech they use to have
      I dont actually think thats historically accurate, just a cool thought

  • @scottwilson4149
    @scottwilson4149 Před 3 měsíci +92

    As a full time career potter, I always use a release agent when stamping imagery or patterns into clay, for the sharpest details. My preference is usually olive oil, but thinner, lighter oils work well. Mineral oil, penetrating oil, canola oil, etc, could be dabbed on the image with a sponge dipped in oil and squeezed out somewhat.
    Any dried clay should be wiped off with water. If you use a light oil, you can wipe that off with water as well. You don't have to be too worried about keeping the water and oil separate.
    Love your channel, Joe.

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +30

      I knew I was doing something wrong 😄

    • @Kayenne54
      @Kayenne54 Před 2 měsíci

      That was exactly my first thought at the 6:40 mark, and I'm not a potter.

    • @Syncrotron9001
      @Syncrotron9001 Před 18 dny

      is it just me or are the similarities between this and a fidget spinner remarkable?

  • @pierreabbat6157
    @pierreabbat6157 Před 3 měsíci +17

    Why didn't they make cylinder seals out of iron?
    Because blacksmiths would forge them.

  • @nancycowell-miller4321
    @nancycowell-miller4321 Před 3 měsíci +205

    Interesting 😊 As a ceramic artist (wannabee), I've purchased - and made - similar cylinders for imprinting unique textures into my work.
    Helpful hint: you need to use some type of release agent on the cylinder (my favorite is WD40) to prevent clay boogers from getting stuck in the cylinder.
    (Pretty sure the ancient Mesopotamians didn't have access to WD40!)

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +104

      Ironically I had a can of WD-40 right next to me when recording that. 😄

    • @NoadiArt
      @NoadiArt Před 3 měsíci +49

      I'd imagine they'd have used something like olive oil.

    • @patrickiamonfire965
      @patrickiamonfire965 Před 3 měsíci +6

      @@joescotthey could you tell what music was used in this part I have been asking for so long with no answers.
      6:00 the advantages portion.

    • @0neIntangible
      @0neIntangible Před 3 měsíci +51

      Perhaps WD-1?

    • @oldschoolman1444
      @oldschoolman1444 Před 3 měsíci +9


  • @johncliffalvarez6513
    @johncliffalvarez6513 Před 3 měsíci +159

    Am I that big of a nerd that I knew what a Cylinder Seal was as soon as Joe held it up? I was so fascinated by them as a kid, that and cuneiform. Would love to get one of those! Awesome content as always, Joe!

    • @redacted178
      @redacted178 Před 3 měsíci +8

      Nope you're not alone. Though not as much as you, I too did recognize it. I was fascinated by the concept of fantasy world currencies which led me to historical real world currencies. And that led me to how they knew something was authentic or not.

    • @johncliffalvarez6513
      @johncliffalvarez6513 Před 3 měsíci +7

      @@redacted178 And who said having a love for fantasy was a waste of time? Sometimes fantasy worlds will peak our curiosity in exploring our own. It must of then been quite the treat to find out it was all real after all. Good on you, mate!

    • @beanshadow7810
      @beanshadow7810 Před 3 měsíci +3

      I’m a history nerd and I have never heard of them. I have no idea why and am ashamed, lol.

    • @johncliffalvarez6513
      @johncliffalvarez6513 Před 3 měsíci +7

      @@beanshadow7810 Hey, we all can’t know everything. I bet you know things I’m not even aware of. But that’s what makes interacting with each other both fascinating and a necessity. We are meant to always be learning and filling in the gaps within our knowledge, and we can only do that together.

    • @tehfiredog
      @tehfiredog Před 3 měsíci +3

      You are... and that puts you in really good company, here at least! 😁

  • @tessat338
    @tessat338 Před 3 měsíci +19

    If anyone happens to be passing through NYC, you can see these at the Met and also at the Morgan Library and Museum. They have a whole slew of these things in one of the rooms in the original part of the house. A friend of mine and I went to see a show there at the beginning of the year called "She Wrote." It was about the first know authored piece of writing. Often, these cylinder seals were representations of quotes from Mesopotamian literature. The person who wrote the original hymns and poetry was a priestess named Enheduanna. Her hymns and exaltations were recorded and quoted from for centuries by Mesopotamian scribes. It would be like having a text from the bible or a line of Shakespeare or the Koran as one's signature.

  • @fedoramaster6035
    @fedoramaster6035 Před 3 měsíci +33

    I was in the Penn Museum the other week, and they had an entire wall of seal cylinders with blowups of what was on them. Super cool how little the art style changed from Ur to the Achaemenid and later sassanid empires. Edit for clarity: the Persian empires didn’t make as wide a use of cylinder seals, but the figures and what’s depicted don’t change much.

  • @daniellarsson3118
    @daniellarsson3118 Před 3 měsíci +76

    As much as i love your videos, i tried brilliant out and I literally completed 5 classes before having to correct like 3 answers they explained incorrectly and have since not used them. As much as learning can be fun, when there are no accreditation for their classes then there is no guarantee they present accurate info, you cant rely on them for accurate answers or a worthwhile education. I will continue to watch your amazing videos but I will never support failed education institutions. much love

    • @ptonpc
      @ptonpc Před 3 měsíci +19

      I have done a few of their courses and noticed a lot of their questions and solutions are 'odd' at best, ranging from "That's weird, if I do it XYZ it works too' through to plain outright wrong. As if the quality control is lacking a lot of times.
      (EDIT: Ironically enough for my complaining about quality control, I made typos. My excuse is. umm.. Look! A squirrel!)

    • @jwenting
      @jwenting Před 3 měsíci +6

      yup, brilliant is garbage. No quality control whatsoever. It's just a pay per view version of youtube with a focus on supposedly educational content.

    • @360.Tapestry
      @360.Tapestry Před 3 měsíci +7

      sounds like they're crowdsourcing the qa. brilliant!

    • @alexia3552
      @alexia3552 Před 3 měsíci +7

      Thank you for the honest review! As something that markets itself through science youtubers, that's extremely disappointing. I was about to say "maybe in the arts you'd get some value from amateurs sharing what works for them" but then I realized you can have a method or style _work_ but that doesn't mean there hasn't been something innovated that works _better_ . There's no use in an educational resource that doesn't fact-check itself.

    • @darylsonnier658
      @darylsonnier658 Před 3 měsíci +6

      @@ptonpc I did the Security+ exam earlier this year, and I found the official test question guide they publish through a partner to be rife with either outright incorrect answers, or only partially correct. Really irked me that I had to pay money for an "industry" certificate when I know that much of the material is not right. It's no wonder so many people barely pass or have to take it multiple times. If you learn the correct information, you're not guaranteed to have the "correct" answer for the test. I'm guessing Brilliant's similar?

  • @johnmcnulty4425
    @johnmcnulty4425 Před 3 měsíci +16

    I lived in Japan for a couple years and they have something similar called a 'hanko'. It's a small cylinder with your own personal stamp on one end which you press into red ink and affix to official documents. I'm glad I kept mine!

    • @24revealer
      @24revealer Před 2 měsíci

      Is this registered with the government or how do you go about the process of getting one?

    • @johnmcnulty4425
      @johnmcnulty4425 Před 2 měsíci

      I had a government sponsored teaching contract and was given one automatically. I'm not sure if every foreigner working in Japan is issued one or not or if there is a procedure for an individual to get one on their own.

  • @marie-clairelafleche4448
    @marie-clairelafleche4448 Před 3 měsíci +8

    Making the surface wet helps a lot with clay shaping. Dipping the seal in water/oil/paint/other may have changed the result making it both easier to print and harder to replicate the results.
    Also, buying a seal with a saying, expression, sentence, mantra, prayer, and such would be an easy way for non literate folks to be able to "write" things relevant to them.
    Family crest equivalent, trade/employment certification, signature, are just some uses that could have been.
    Though I'm no specialist or expert here. Just postulating.
    Im a hobbyist who does a lot of "old world trades" for fun (clay bricks and molds, blacksmithing and bladesmithing, soft metal smelting, weaving, tool making, flint and glass knapping, and the such) I'm also not a purist/recreationist, just learning what people did before we did what we do. Learning about where we come from, in all ways.
    The ontario 98 ice storm really instilled in me the realisation that most of us are electricity away from not even knowing how to survive, but they thrived and got us here.

  • @Jimbo65203
    @Jimbo65203 Před 3 měsíci +30

    The type of clay will make a difference in your impression result. The clay you were using is not good for clay impressions. The clay is of equal importance as the Cylinder Seal used. Most likely, they used an oil coating to not allow the roller to remove clay from the blank that is used and soil the ID roller as it is pressed into the clay.

    • @cynvision
      @cynvision Před 3 měsíci +1

      not certain the concave shape helps a good impression either

    • @Jimbo65203
      @Jimbo65203 Před 3 měsíci

      The concave shape provides the furrow lines top and bottom, sort of like our ruled paper lines we write between. In this case, it is to enclose the symbols for the transactions made by the owner of the cylinder seal, or to make it sharp and crisp. I imagine the mixture of the clay used for transactions was as closely guarded a secret as today's making of paper bills.@@cynvision

  • @zzdogger
    @zzdogger Před 3 měsíci +41

    I am OBSESSED with beads and this makes me think so much about trade beads!
    I actually have two ancient-looking, very crude clay beads with weird unique markings on them, that I'm looking at in a new light now... So much to learn about BEADS.
    Thank you!
    Edit: I could definitely convert a 2D image into a 3D-printed cylinder seal. I don't think there's a market for that? But it sounds cool to me. I am going to make my own.

    • @ClimbLikeAGirl-vz3gt
      @ClimbLikeAGirl-vz3gt Před 2 měsíci

      Oooh I bet people who work with clay could use that! I've seen a couple in the comments here... Also, I remember having a pen in elementary school that had a cylinder at the top with a design embossed to roll in ink and then on paper to transfer the design, that may work as well? That'd probably need an absorbent material...

  • @Nulli_Di
    @Nulli_Di Před 3 měsíci +10

    There is a small but non-zero chance that Joe just used making this video as an excuse to get out the Play-Doh.

  • @kmonk99
    @kmonk99 Před 3 měsíci +29

    It is interesting you mentioned that 3 AJAW sounded like a Mesoamerican Rap name, because it is understood that a common naming convention in the region was to name babies after the day they were born. AJAW is a month on the Mayan calendar so they were born on the 3rd day of the Ajaw month. Also, a bit of a nit pick, but it is pronounced 'Ah-How' by Mayan speakers today. The term Ajaw is generally associated with Lordship or Rulership, but its origins go back to roaming shamanic astronomers from a pre-Olmec society that used the positions of the stars to help determine the best time of year to plant Maize. I did my thesis research on this topic and it is absolutely fascinating. As to why the people of this region created cylinder seals and toys with wheels, and grand roads between cities, but there is no evidence for wheels being used for carts or transportation, I couldn't tell you.

    • @elijahclaude3413
      @elijahclaude3413 Před 3 měsíci +2

      I thought the wheel thing was because they lived mostly in the mountains, and it was impractical to have wheels you'd have to push/pull up and down steep mountains. Far more practical to just ride whatever mounts were native to the area. I may be totally wrong though, and certainly didn't write any thesis on them lol

    • @refindoazhar1507
      @refindoazhar1507 Před 3 měsíci +2

      ​@@elijahclaude3413isn't that for andean civilization? As far as i can tell, mesoamerican people don't even have large domesticated animal to ride or pull carts.

    • @elijahclaude3413
      @elijahclaude3413 Před 3 měsíci +2

      @@refindoazhar1507 Just looked it up, you're right, they didn't have draft animals. They just walked lol. And used boats along the coast.
      They used slaves to carry things usually.

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +8

      I swear I learn more from my comments than I do in my research. This is fascinating, thanks for sharing!

    • @Xfactor7430
      @Xfactor7430 Před 2 měsíci +1

      We all do Joe.. We all do.😏

  • @GodfatherXXI
    @GodfatherXXI Před 3 měsíci +26

    Joe - thank you for years of AMAZING content!

  • @StrunDoNhor
    @StrunDoNhor Před 3 měsíci +28

    _Well as is so happens!_
    There is an old record of exactly that: an older generation lamenting how paper is phasing-out the use of tablets, even pondering something to the tune of "what will these kids do when they run out of paper?"
    I think I first heard of it from a Vsauce video, but it's been so long that I honestly can't remember. Shouldn't be hard to Google, though, I'd imagine.

    • @wirelesmike73
      @wirelesmike73 Před 3 měsíci

      "How would our records survive a fire? They would be lost forever! I'll stick to my clay tablets, thank you very much. Woke liberals, be damned!"

  • @RamArt9091
    @RamArt9091 Před 3 měsíci +7

    When you are lookin for clay, look for ceramic clay. There are plenty of things like modeling clay and other polymer clays that don't behave quite like ceramics.

  • @CaedenV
    @CaedenV Před 3 měsíci +9

    I like this theme of old tech solutions to modern problems... it is pretty fascinating!

  • @willsullivan3
    @willsullivan3 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Dude, I always loved Arts & Crafts time in grade school, feeling a little logy after a starchy lunch...AND you're telling me a story, too! How cool. Some things never change. I feel a nap coming on...for real...thx for the memories...

    • @willsullivan3
      @willsullivan3 Před 3 měsíci

      BONUS! It's the perfect Etsy video testimonial!

  • @jwenting
    @jwenting Před 3 měsíci +8

    Soon as you mentioned the name I knew I had seen them before, in various museums. I even had a few (replicas, obviously) as a child. We even made our own in arts and craft class in primary school.

  • @OnlyAnOpinion20
    @OnlyAnOpinion20 Před 3 měsíci +7

    Fascinating, that's why I love this channel, it always provides lots of interesting stuff I've never heard of, always learning. Keep them coming Joe!!

    • @joescott
      @joescott  Před 3 měsíci +1

      Thank you very much!

  • @Nefville
    @Nefville Před 3 měsíci +5

    Joe & Co., any way you guys could do a video on that whole tulip mania/ bubble back in the early 1600's? Since we're talking about crypto it reminded me of that. Thanks!

    • @bjdefilippo447
      @bjdefilippo447 Před 3 měsíci +1

      That was a fascinating story. I can't remember the name of the book in which I read about it, but IIRC, it also covered potatoes and marijuana. So interesting how plants and economies influence the other.

  • @erinhendrixson9192
    @erinhendrixson9192 Před 3 měsíci +28

    I carve fire agate, which is made from and enveloped inside of chalcedony (pronounced cal-sid-in-ee, btw).
    ...And to say I am impressed with the level of detail that ancient specimen made from chalcedony showed, is a crazy understatement. I have a top-of-the-line, industry-specific rotary tool and bits made for gemstone carving, and can only recently say comparable skill has been unlocked in my repertoire. Wow.

    • @tux_duh
      @tux_duh Před 3 měsíci +3

      Im always amazed by how smart even amcient humans were, in our modern world we like to think of them as stupid but when all you got is time and trial and error you can get some pretty fucking cool things

    • @esoniqplyr1
      @esoniqplyr1 Před 3 měsíci +5


    • @totalbiscuit4758
      @totalbiscuit4758 Před 2 měsíci +2

      I visited Persepolis as a young man. What most impressed me was the quality of the stone carving, some of which was better than anything we can do today. The ancients may have been ancient -- but they weren't less capable or intelligent!

    • @erinhendrixson9192
      @erinhendrixson9192 Před 2 měsíci

      @@esoniqplyr1 I've heard it that way more at gem shows, so it's probably the correct way.

    • @vanlifecrone4618
      @vanlifecrone4618 Před 17 dny

      @@esoniqplyr1also, puh-PIE-russ.

  • @Ed-jg3ud
    @Ed-jg3ud Před 3 měsíci +5

    Probably applied some oil to prevent clay from sticking to the cylinder prior to rolling. Basically release oil similar to concrete forms

  • @johnjapuntich3306
    @johnjapuntich3306 Před 3 měsíci +9

    Were you using Play-doh for your cylinder seal? If so, I wonder if real clay would return a better result?

  • @jamesvanwyk1378
    @jamesvanwyk1378 Před 3 měsíci +4

    Seals are still used in parts of East Asia. Documents are first signed in the local language or Chinese; Then a seal is put partially over the signature. This is still used, in the USA, for professional documents. Many states allow ink seals; some states, including, mine requires impression seals, as they cannot be copied in a copier, like ink seals.

    • @BaharJennifer
      @BaharJennifer Před 2 měsíci

      So true. You are right. What state are you in?

  • @xlchthoNyx
    @xlchthoNyx Před 2 měsíci +2

    I’ve been a fan for over 2 days now and your entertaining and have intelligent things to talk about i love ancient history. Thanks for sharing glad i discovered your channel.

  • @aserta
    @aserta Před 3 měsíci +3

    8:10 it's very possible that they were made by order to a craftsman and finished in detail specific by the owner. Several were found where the type of line involved in the more intricate details (humans, animals, motifs) were different from the simplistic ones (lines, dots, spirals). 2FA from the other day.

  • @AzraelThanatos
    @AzraelThanatos Před 3 měsíci +2

    With the mezoamerican ones, there's also the possibility that they weren't as seals, but something like a decorative piece though it might have been a kind of makers mark. Having roller stamps for more popular designs for pottery or your personal mark for identifying which ones you made could fit there easily enough.

  • @mallow4715
    @mallow4715 Před 3 měsíci +5

    mesopotamia: *has a form of signature thats a cylinder to roll on clay*
    crypto bro: OMG ITS LIKE BLOCK CHAIN ‼️‼️‼️

  • @richardfrenette6648
    @richardfrenette6648 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Great video, super interesting subject, loved your hands on segment. You should do more of these.

  • @michaelmangum2021
    @michaelmangum2021 Před 3 měsíci +13

    The analogy is not crypto (which is theoretically a unit of currency) but instead the analogy would be to a public key used for encryption, or a fingerprint, or similar. The seals were for validating IDENTITY. By "crypto", I'm assuming you are referring to blockchain, which does not have validating identity as its purpose - the purpose is instead validating transaction history. Very different things.

    • @MagusDevon
      @MagusDevon Před 2 měsíci

      You're only halfway correct here. Blockchains use public and private keys for authentication. Only the owner of the private keys can perform transactions on its behalf, and they can even include metadata such as text messages with that transaction. It cannot be forged, it cannot be modified. It's stored on a globally accessible database that everyone has access to, nobody has control over, and nobody can shut down.
      People take this a step further by building on-chain identities. This is especially the case with NFT ownership. Nobody in NFTs cares if you right-click save the image (many would prefer if you do, actually). What's important is the cryptographic token behind the NFT, providing a digital signature of who created it and providing provenance to it. This becomes more apparent when you realize people actually assign unique on-chain names to their public addresses so they become humanly readable instead of a long string of hex. People often use NFTs as their on-chain identity as they're the only true owner of the NFT. If anyone re-uploads a forgery, everyone can tell it's fake. Nobody bothers with fakes, they have no value, it's part of why artists don't really have to worry about re-uploads of their works as NFTs because nobody falls for those. They want the authenticity, and sometimes owning an authentic token comes with exclusive benefits such as acting as a pass to IRL parties. Trying to get into one with a fake is impossible.
      An example of this is a 3D model I commissioned from one of my favorite artists. They made it as an NFT for me, everyone can see what I paid for that commission too. We didn't have to exchange any personal information such as email, bank accounts, or PayPal (which doxes you during transactions) in order for them to receive instant payment from me across the globe. Without knowing any personal information, they could identify that I was the one who sent the money, and I could verify that they were the one who received it.
      This adds social proofs to their on-chain identity as they network with more people who have established on-chain history. My wallet is public, everyone can see what I commission and if they like a particular image in my collection they can easily trace back the original artist of those works to see their full portfolios without ever contacting them or me. My 3D model NFT also acts as a cryptographic key that allows me to download the model associated with it. The NFT itself acts as validator, and right click saving the video associated with the NFT doesn't give you that ability.
      So to say crypto is just a theoretical unit of currency completely misses the entire "crypto" part. It's cryptography. In the end it's private and public keys, validating each other online. Transactions are just one (very important) usecase of the technology because trade is a cornerstone of human civilization.

    • @Xfactor7430
      @Xfactor7430 Před 2 měsíci

      And I thought NFT's was a stupid joke.. well fuck me I've got to study hard on the universe if the magic of NFT's. Thanks for the peek into a whole new universe. Damn I am getting to old for starting from zero knowledge..😮‍💨

    • @Minecraft4You2011
      @Minecraft4You2011 Před 19 dny +1

      The wallet is the identity, the address of your wallet is the public key. Blockchain records transactions between identities
      The private key allows you to access your funds and send them somewhere else

  • @havinganap
    @havinganap Před 3 měsíci +3

    They still exist in Japan. It's called a hanko (specifically a Jitsu-in), a personal stamp one uses on all official notarised documents, and it is I believe a legal requirement. It's also used in other areas where a signature is required, like at the bank, paying bills, signing for packages etc.

    • @kyleaaron1130
      @kyleaaron1130 Před 3 měsíci +2

      Us gaijin are still allowed to sign our old John Hancock for most things, but I had to make a hanko for official stuff. Every time I use it, I wonder how easy it would be to copy one, but apparently it doesn't happen often (this is Japan we're talking about after all).

    • @havinganap
      @havinganap Před 3 měsíci

      @@kyleaaron1130 my #gaijinlife ended 12 years ago. Nice to see nothing much has changed 🤣

  • @WolfRamAndHart
    @WolfRamAndHart Před 3 měsíci +4

    I've been amazed at the intricate designs of some original Roman or Egyptian Signet rings. One tidbit you left out, is when it came to famous "signatures" like Julius Caesar. They were known. Pliny talked about them, as a rare autograph. But they probably no longer exist (and what would it look like, with Roman numerals?) Most likely, is Caesar "signed" the vast majority of his writings, using a decorative seal or "signet" ring, which no one could forge, except upon pain of death.

  • @Oroberus
    @Oroberus Před 3 měsíci +2

    Well, you should have heated your cylinder seal before using it, this actually makes a bit difference in regards of the imprint. Even 5°C will give you a way more pronounced stamping effect
    And those seals are also legal as signatures today, as long as you use a seal or a signet rign to give your very first signature on your ID, as the only thing that makes your signature legally binding is it actually being the signature you use on your ID. Therefore if you use a signet ring to stamp-sign your ID, this signet-ring is your official, legally binding signature ;)
    And no, your signature don't need to be your name, it can indeed be [pointing guy][seagull][chariot]straw reed] *g*
    The only reason we started to use our names as signatures is that it's convenient the most convenient thing to do

  • @alexia3552
    @alexia3552 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Dude, the design mechanism of rolling to get the full image? Flawless, amazing, superb, genius, delightful. Can I send a compliment letter back in time to the inventor?

  • @SudaNIm103
    @SudaNIm103 Před 3 měsíci +2

    1:55 - That's not the U.S. GPO "Seal" as stated that's just the modern "logo" but rather the seal is the long-used mark of authentication and looks quite different.
    (I'll attempt to post a link to the seal in a reply below.)

    • @SudaNIm103
      @SudaNIm103 Před 3 měsíci +1


  • @Megadextrious
    @Megadextrious Před 3 měsíci +2

    This is so cool, I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this before. I’ve been like playing with clay as a fun hobby since i was really young and this is just so frkn rad, I wanna make my own seal!!!!

  • @joyl7842
    @joyl7842 Před 3 měsíci +2

    This does seem like a much better way to prevent faking than what we use today. The source isn't stored online, the impression is only as good as the source at that moment, there is only one source unless it has been duplicated by the owner. Sounds perfect to me.

  • @briancurrie2897
    @briancurrie2897 Před 3 měsíci +7

    I wonder if there is a link between dyslexia and the stone cutters. Maybe it provided enough selection pressure that people who see things backwards excelled at the craft. Meaning they could provide for their children and pass down their genes.

    • @AnonymousAnarchist2
      @AnonymousAnarchist2 Před 3 měsíci +2

      Well dyslexia is linked to better "3d thinking" or spatial visualization.
      So ya. It is probably even older then homo-sapians, going back to making tools long before modern humans, back when we napped our stones and do not appear to have made stone structures
      Although there was a wooden structure found that pre-dates homo-sapians, so who really knows what they where fully up to, our most recent ancestors.

    • @SeanPat1001
      @SeanPat1001 Před 2 měsíci

      “Dyslexia“ is more of a symptom than a condition. There are several characteristics that can lead to this condition.
      I have a hereditary characteristic that causes me to be dyslexic. Both of my children and I score below the 1st percentile with regard to left-right sensitivity. So, in my case, I can definitely say that writing backwards is not at all difficult. I used write (in script) backwards and upside down so my stepmother couldn’t understand what I wrote in my journal. When it comes to reading English, it’s a disadvantage because there are several mirror-image pairs in the alphabet. However, there’s a lot of things for which this is actually an advantage.
      Interestingly, there are over 2000 commonly used characters in the Japanese language. So far I’ve only found two, さ and ち, which are mirror images. When I write them, I do so in such a way that they are no longer mirror images, but in print, they are often as shown above and I have to stop and think about which character I’m looking at. From what I understand, dyslexia is much less common among native speakers of Japanese than among native speakers of English.

  • @DeniedGrace
    @DeniedGrace Před 3 měsíci +2

    “Mesopotamian Bling” is a great band name. 😊

  • @cortexcarvalho9423
    @cortexcarvalho9423 Před 3 měsíci +2

    There must have been some kind of watermark on the signatures that only a limited number of people knew about. I imagine there would have to be some kind of logistical control, in case a stamp was lost, stolen, counterfeit, key word of the day, watermark of the day. Interesting

  • @CallyKariShokka
    @CallyKariShokka Před 3 měsíci +3

    "I'm not saying these two ancient civilizations had contact. ... But I'm not NOT saying it." Has anyone considered that some couple thousand years ago, a cylinder seal washed up on a beach, someone went "this is the coolest thing I HAVE EVER SEEN" and then just copied it on their half of the world

  • @wirelesmike73
    @wirelesmike73 Před 3 měsíci +3

    I would imagine that the tools used to roll them were often made of wood, easier to replicate and replace as they became worn over time as they were used. That might also explain why the tools themselves are harder to find intact. I can picture them being what is essentially a waxed or oiled spindle or dowel with decorative wood, stone, or metal caps or nubs on each end, to be pinched between the finger and thumb to make it easy to sign with one hand. Perhaps with holes or loops on one end to hang on a string, chain, or hook.

  • @AnoraJohnson
    @AnoraJohnson Před 2 měsíci +1

    About clay: clay sticks more to non-porous materials. If your replica is smooth plastic or metal, this will affect ease of use. Wetter clay is also stickier than a slightly dried/doughy mass.
    Glad to see pieces from the Spurlock collection. That museum is very cool.

  • @rjmacreadyoutpost3121
    @rjmacreadyoutpost3121 Před 3 měsíci +3

    I see how this could conceivably be used as part of a movable type system. Kinda like those old date changing ink stamps.

    • @rhonafenwick5643
      @rhonafenwick5643 Před 3 měsíci +2

      Are you familiar with the Phaistos Disc? Basically a Middle-Late Bronze Age example of exactly that.

  • @stuartreed37
    @stuartreed37 Před 3 měsíci +4

    Cool piece of history and also a fair take on the basic use case for crypto. 👍

  • @Unmannedair
    @Unmannedair Před 3 měsíci +2

    Those rollers would get oiled or waxed depending on what they were made from. This would act like a release agent and would keep the rollers clean.

  • @jamesbee3087
    @jamesbee3087 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Use water. The cylinder needs to be wet so the clay doesn't stick to the recessed areas and I'm sure they used a dowl rod to get a smoother, even, and deeper roll, like in miniatures terrain building we use textured rolling pin to create all sorts of impressions on various materials.

  • @Professor_sckinnctn
    @Professor_sckinnctn Před 3 měsíci +2

    Weirdly enough, I knew exactly what it is!!!! :) Cylinder seals are so freaking amazing as little works of art!
    Suggestion, if I may? Ancient coin production. Another really cool subject!

  • @simoneruellan4258
    @simoneruellan4258 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Your most interesting video yet. Great research there!!

  • @MaakaSakuranbo
    @MaakaSakuranbo Před 3 měsíci +9

    Neat. Dunno what it has to do with crypto though, beyond "can be used to identify yourself". I mean, are signatures crypto then? They still use signature seal/stamps in Japan a lot I think, is that crypto?

    • @MagusDevon
      @MagusDevon Před 2 měsíci

      > I mean, are signatures crypto then? They still use signature seal/stamps in Japan a lot I think, is that crypto?
      Yes, it serves the same purpose. Only those stamps can very easily be forged so are a very weak form of proof.
      Crypto takes the role of the seal/stamp here, as any time you perform a transaction there's a digital signature attached that only you (as the owner of the crypto wallet) are able to make. It's not optional either, every single transaction is marked with your digital signature. Everyone can audit these signatures, because they're written on a public database that cannot be modified, shut down, and isn't owned by anyone. All transactions on these networks are stored indefinitely, forever. You can trace back every single transaction since the start of these networks. This becomes more important when you realize people attach unique names to their wallets to publicly identify them and all transactions they do.

    • @MaakaSakuranbo
      @MaakaSakuranbo Před 2 měsíci

      @@MagusDevon "everyone can audit", provided you wanna download tons of gigabytes and wait ages for that to complete, which is kind of a downside to it heh
      My question was "is signature crypto then" not "can signature be used as crypto"
      "A is B" doesn't mean "B is A" after all

    • @MagusDevon
      @MagusDevon Před 2 měsíci

      @@MaakaSakuranbo You don't have to download that if you want to audit. There are a plethora of public blockchain explorers that exist. I could easily send you transaction information to view on a browser of your phone whenever.
      If you wanted to verify someone's transactions or on-chain identity on Ethereum you could use Etherscan, for example.

    • @MaakaSakuranbo
      @MaakaSakuranbo Před 2 měsíci

      @@MagusDevon Public means you now have to trust the source again

    • @MagusDevon
      @MagusDevon Před 2 měsíci

      @@MaakaSakuranbo Sure, though the public sources are pretty reputable and there are multiple of them to cross reference. Pretty much every wallet software for example pulls chain information for you to verify with, so you could always use multiple if you're worried about this. Though honestly it's never been an issue and it's really easy to call out so the moment any platform decides to try showing information's different than what's on-chain it'd be immediately called out and they'd obviously lose any financial support they have so it'd be pretty stupid on their part. They can't alter the chain, so it'd be pointless to display incorrect information from it.
      If you want your own personal reference, you don't have to download the entire chain data as most blockchains have light nodes that are designed to run on something as simple as a cell phone. You don't need a full node for just reading the chain, you'd only need to download that much for actually running a validator in most cases.
      All in all I'm no certain what you're even trying to imply here. The alternative you provided, using stamps to verify, has no easy way to cross reference for forgery.

  • @ammitthedevourerofsouls
    @ammitthedevourerofsouls Před 3 měsíci

    Very informative content. Thank you for your time and knowledge! See you on the next video! Thank you for existing!

  • @mr.d2869
    @mr.d2869 Před 2 měsíci +1

    I've been planning to watch this video since it was released, but honestly, it's been highly entertaining to watch how many times the thumbnail and title have changed since release, to the point where I've held off watching it to see how many more times it will change before I check it out 😂

  • @chadzulu4328
    @chadzulu4328 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Never heard of those things! Good stuff bro.

  • @davidjeffery3532
    @davidjeffery3532 Před 3 měsíci

    Just finished work, new video out. Let’s go! Great content as per usual :)

  • @IanZainea1990
    @IanZainea1990 Před 3 měsíci +2

    1:33 I wanna make a cylinder seal that works on a digital check out thing, so I don't have to sign a terrible signature, I can just roll it on lol

  • @andrewlecouteurbisson7217
    @andrewlecouteurbisson7217 Před 3 měsíci +8

    A big advantage of a cylinder seal over a signet ring is the difficulty of constructing a forgery from an impression. This is relatively easy using plaster on a signet ring seal but would be very much more difficult to reconstruct a cylindrical surface.

  • @XxVersedtoastxX
    @XxVersedtoastxX Před 14 dny

    The Tallystick was a neat invention specifically solving the forged ledger issue.
    One of if not the most secure ledger systems of human history, deserving of a video!

  • @I.Love.WF.JoeScott.MrBallen
    @I.Love.WF.JoeScott.MrBallen Před 3 měsíci

    I so look forward to Mondays because of you Joe, in the same way morning coffee gets me outta bed
    Keep up the great work❤

  • @barxracerful
    @barxracerful Před 3 měsíci

    i like how youtube notifies me of a new video a day after it comes out. I already watched it, because I wrnt looking for it. Joe, YT is F'n with you

  • @CaedenV
    @CaedenV Před 3 měsíci +1

    you know it is good when you get the tangent cam right at the start!

  • @SolomanTiger
    @SolomanTiger Před 3 měsíci

    Really enjoyed the format of this video

  • @TundeEszlari
    @TundeEszlari Před 3 měsíci +3

    I love your videos.

  • @joechevy2035
    @joechevy2035 Před měsícem

    At first, I thought it was an ancient stash box! Where's Ron Schneider (SNL) when you need 'em? 😂

  • @geraldhilander7494
    @geraldhilander7494 Před 3 měsíci

    Been watching your channels for years, thanks for all the great content. Try lightly spraying your wheel with cooking spray or lightly oil it, that should keep the clay from filling it the small details on your signat wheel. Thanks for all the knowledge, from Bourbon Co, Kentucky 🤘

  • @nDndAd
    @nDndAd Před 3 měsíci +2

    Say it with me, Joe, "Puh-pie-russ". lol

  • @gtbkts
    @gtbkts Před 3 měsíci

    Thanks for all the awesome content!!

  • @DiabloDisablo
    @DiabloDisablo Před 3 měsíci

    Great video (as per usual). The Graham Hancock head had me laughing. Timing was perfect! 😅

  • @GoldenMinotaur
    @GoldenMinotaur Před 3 měsíci +4

    I dont know how everyone else feels, but I can't handle that background track during the introduction. Its too discordant from what youre saying, and my audio tactile synesthesia makes it feel like I'm watching a ping pong game and youre trying to tell us this while sitting on the table as the game goes around you.

  • @coderjd
    @coderjd Před 3 měsíci +1

    Loved the vid, and glad you touch on the topic of authentication.. just -- I thought, based off the title, you were going to show us how they had credit
    EDIT: appreciate the more precise title change; and I truly see the cylinder seals as one of those important perspective shifting historical tidbits/tech that people should know of..

  • @beethimbles8801
    @beethimbles8801 Před 3 měsíci +2

    TIP FOR JOE:dust the roller with cornstarch, cornflour or whatever it’s known as in the USA. Use a paint brush and lightly coat it, it’ll help the indents getting filled with clay ❤

  • @genghisconnie
    @genghisconnie Před 2 měsíci

    Really interesting! Thanks, Joe.
    That Etsy store must be thrilled!

  • @marcmckenzie5110
    @marcmckenzie5110 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Joe, back in the Bronze Age, I always sprayed my cylinder seal with Pam® which yielded much better results. Just a tip from an old guy.

  • @bvbxiong5791
    @bvbxiong5791 Před 3 měsíci +5

    9:20 did you really pronounce "papyrus" as "pap-perus"? LMAO.

  • @karengerhardt6008
    @karengerhardt6008 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Love these types of videos!

  • @sarahs6712
    @sarahs6712 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Your content is great

  • @hardcoreherbivore4730
    @hardcoreherbivore4730 Před 3 měsíci +1

    It’s been a dream of mine to find enough time to learn to read Sumerian. Given the amount of information left to discover on the vast quantities of cuneiform tablets, it’d be fascinating.

  • @Datan0de
    @Datan0de Před 24 dny

    This is off the usual path for this channel, but I'm totally here for it! I'm low key fascinated by day to day life in the late Stone Age and early Bronze Age. I feel like people forget about those eras, and think of "ancient history" as being ancient Greece and the Roman empire, ignoring the fact that there's thousands of years of civilization and culture that predate them.

  • @jcortese3300
    @jcortese3300 Před 3 měsíci +79

    I have a feeling that so many cylinder seals are found precisely because they were forged so often.
    Regarding information security, I'm also reminded of when I saw the Magna Carta for the first time and noticed that it was written all the way to the edge of the paper. Turns out this was a way to ensure that words couldn't be added or trimmed off without it being very noticeable.

    • @alexia3552
      @alexia3552 Před 3 měsíci +5

      Dude, ancient information security

    • @elijahclaude3413
      @elijahclaude3413 Před 3 měsíci +2

      I was wondering how often they were forged, but seeing as it was used for thousands of years by a lot of people, it may be that forging it wasn't really worth it, but so many are found because it was so widely used for such a long time.

    • @user-lb8bg6kj9m
      @user-lb8bg6kj9m Před měsícem

      A famous Nigerian prince was making rounds in Mesopotamia.

  • @fullyfluke
    @fullyfluke Před 3 měsíci +1

    As a fellow craftsman, I find it a bit disappointing that he said he got the stamp from Etsy, but didn’t mention the shop owner’s name, otherwise another great video.

  • @S5000Krad
    @S5000Krad Před 3 měsíci

    Thank you for another highly interesting video. I appreciate it

  • @seanbatiz6620
    @seanbatiz6620 Před 3 měsíci

    10:44> 😳🤣‼️ Good one! Was literally thinking of him, just as his face began to crop into view

  • @Bublephart
    @Bublephart Před 3 měsíci

    Chalcedoney, Cal-said-knee. I always learn so much here. Ty sir.

  • @rexkars7867
    @rexkars7867 Před 2 měsíci

    I knew of these but didn't;t put much thought into what it took to produce the engraving. Great subject!

  • @mysticwolf1636
    @mysticwolf1636 Před 3 měsíci +2

    Olive oil for a release agent

  • @AhJodie
    @AhJodie Před 2 měsíci

    Nice information, and interesting intelligence from your humor is fun. I am thinking some people will not know some of those people you used as examples..... thank you for the video!

  • @user-un8tv1pp8m
    @user-un8tv1pp8m Před 3 měsíci +1

    6:30 The imprint will become clearer and natural clay of the right humidty _(dont exactly know what you where using, looks like some modern craft-store plastics clay)_ wont cling to the profile when you use a seperating agent.
    Spit or water will do in a pinch, some vegetable oil or soapy solution work better. I got really good results with a spray of WD40. _(warning, oily stuff wont work with plastics clay, which often is is oleaginophile)_
    Just spread a film on the whole seal surface.
    Since it seperates much easier, you can impress harder and get clearer imprints.
    Also: I would have loved for you to talk about the "hidden delivery slip" technique those where used for.
    Imagine a trader sending his trading partner months away some goods - 24 pots of honey, 18 of date sirup, 12 pounds of copper and 8 camels for example.
    How would he or his partner make sure the caravan-guys on the way - often different ones for different legs of the journey - dont skimp?
    Easy!: The sender takes small markers illustrating the wares - 24 white pebbles, 18 brown ones, 12 pomegrenate seeds, 8 sheep teeth.
    Kneads them into a clay clump, smothes the surface, and marks the outside with his seal.
    That clump gets dried and goes on the journey with the delivery.
    Caravaners hand it off to each other with the goods _(in part packing on their own layer of clay and marking it by their seal, thus proving chain of custody documentation)._
    And in the end the recipient cracks it open, counts the markers, compares to delivery - bingo.
    Since a few of those clumps have been found, opened and closed _(not many since their function encompasses destruction and unburnt clay doesnt preserve all that well),_ at this point that techiqe seems to be a rather solid scientific consent.
    And its sooo frigging brilliant!

  • @remcovanvliet3018
    @remcovanvliet3018 Před 2 měsíci

    To prevent the small grooves from filling up and the small details from tearing off the tablet, put the tablet in front of a fan for a little while so the surface can dry some, or dust it with a bit of talcum powder.

  • @realbadger
    @realbadger Před 2 měsíci

    A few days after I first saw this video the day it launched, a good friend posted a wooden cylinder seal she'd gotten I think from Etsy.
    It was so clearly along the same lines that in her comments I mentioned it [probably] being a cylinder seal, and provided the link to your/this video.
    She was also quite [understandably] impressed with your video.

  • @mraccountant88
    @mraccountant88 Před 3 měsíci +1

    hey did the title of this video change?? I liked the old title. btw big fan Joe!!!

    • @RealBradMiller
      @RealBradMiller Před 3 měsíci

      Sometimes channels change the title or the thumbnail if YT statistics don't line up with other vids, or just for the heck of it really, I guess.
      Cool topic, I had no clue about these things!

  • @Sevenigma777
    @Sevenigma777 Před 3 měsíci +8

    The big difference is there are actual uses for the cylinder unlike crypto

  • @benedixtify
    @benedixtify Před 2 měsíci

    1:18 "Let's take this thing for a spin"
    Well played, Sir

  • @hoboogre8023
    @hoboogre8023 Před 3 měsíci +1

    Would coating the cylinder with some sort of oil or lubricant keep the clay from sticking in the nooks and crannies?

  • @davidanderson2357
    @davidanderson2357 Před 3 měsíci

    When Joe mentioned seal impressions I thought he was going to start singing Kiss From A Rose.

  • @joyl7842
    @joyl7842 Před 3 měsíci

    Funny. Just today I was reading about the ancient cultures in that region. And here you are, teaching me about something of that region. Thanks!

  • @jackbuff_I
    @jackbuff_I Před 3 měsíci

    I love it! And imma gonna get me a signet ring!
    Quick question: what maths makes concavity more efficient?