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    Description

    Incantation Bowl

    JUDAEA-SAMARIA. Byzantine era, circa 400-600 CE. Large pottery incantation bowl. Wheel formed of terracotta with cream-colored interior glaze, 7.25 inches (18.45 cm) in diameter, inscribed with a spiraling single line of Aramaic characters from rim to tondo, totaling eight or nine lines of text. Intact, with some mineralized encrustation, the text worn or lightly obscured in some spouts, but about 80% appears clearly defined and readable.

    From the Barakat Biblical Collection, imported prior to 1982.

    Incantation bowls become suddenly popular in the early Christian era, with most being found in the Tigris-Euphrates basin. They were written in a variety of Aramaic dialects including Jewish Aramaic, Mandaic and Syriac. Their main function was to trap evil spirits and they were often placed upside down at the corners of rooms, or built into foundations or cemeteries. The texts sometimes instruct them to be placed 'at the four corners (of the room)' for extra protection. The names of the clients for whom the bowls were made can be divided into two main categories- Semitic and Persian. However this is not always a reliable guide to their ethnicity. Jewish influence on the Mandaic inscriptions was minimal but is pronounced in the Aramaic incantations. Many of the scribes may have been Jewish or trained by Jews, and the Hebrew Bible is frequently quoted.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2016
    16th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,136

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