The sequence laid flat looks like this:
And here’s a photo of the cup:
Found via The Real Iran on Tumblr. My Tumblr source doesn’t unfortunately give any more info, but it sounds like the cup was found in the Bronze Age site of Shahr-e Sūkhté (or Shahr-e Sukhteh) in Sistan, southeastern Iran.
Just reading the Wikipedia page for Shahr-e Sūkhté makes my imagination run—a large trading route hub with connections to Mesopotamia, Central Asia, and India with rich material culture would make an excellent setting for historical or speculative fiction. (For example, among the archaeological finds from the Burnt City is apparently the world’s first artificial eyeball.)
Finding real-world inspiration like this is when I really wish I was a writer!
The Visual Inspiration occasional feature pulls the unusual from our world to inspire design, story-telling, and worldbuilding. If stuff like this already exists, what else could we imagine?