When Congress adopted the Great Seal in 1782, "pendant" (also called "hanging") seals were in use. A wax disk was attached to the document by ribbons or cords. The disk had two sides, thus the need for a reverse side of a seal.
Because no die for the reverse was ever cut, only the obverse side was used on the few occasions when pendant seals were employed before being discontinued in 1871.
Today only the obverse side (which is also the U.S. coat of arms) is impressed onto a paper wafer that is glued to the document.