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A pilgrim-flask. On each side, within a chevron-border, Saint Menas stands to front, his arms outstretched in blessing. Beside his head in relief lettering is an inscription. He has a nimbus, wears a short tunic with sleeves and a long cloak, and is flanked by camels. The two moulds used appear to be from the same archetype, but one was much more worn than the other; the applied neck, mouth and both handles are missing. Buff fabric, containing both dark and light sand.
- Found/Acquired: Damanhur
- (Africa,Egypt,Lower Egypt,Nile Delta,Damanhur)
- Height: 9.4 centimetres (max)
- Width: 9.8 centimetres (max)
- Thickness: 2.7 centimetres (max)
Inscription Positionboth faces
Inscription ContentΑΓIOC ΜΗΝO
Inscription TranslationHoly Menas
Purchased: Greville J. Chester. Acquired at Damanhur.
Late Roman, about AD 480-650.
Close, perhaps from same mould-series: Hayes 1976: 116, no. 268, dated late sixth to seventh century AD; Kiss 1989a: nos 1, 2,and perhaps 3, from Kom el-Dikka, Alexandria, context of AD 480-560; Metzger 1981: nos 3 and 4, dated sixth to seventh century AD; Strzygowski 1904: pl. xxi:8976.
Close: Effenberger 1995: 40, fig. 20, dated fifth to sixth century AD; Volbach 1963: no. 219, from Abu Mena; Witt 2000: nos 1, from Ramleh (?) in Alexandria, 2, side A, and 3, from Alexandria, dated end of fifth to middle seventh century AD.
Not on display
fair (incomplete - neck and handles missing)
21 June 1999
Reason for treatment
Surface clean to original surface if possible
Surface dust and dirt over hard encrustation
Tested pneumatic pen on encrustation with no success - it left a trail of hard glassy lines in the encrustation. Mechanically cleaned with air-abrasive using Aluminium oxide, No1 powder with air pressure set at 85psi and the powder at between 2 and 4 depending on the thickness and hardness of the encrustation. The encrustation was pared down and reduced in the incised areas of the moulded decoration to allow for more detailed photography. However, the encrustation was very hard and set round very small gravel, very little was removed as the encrustation was what appeared to be holding the surface and therefore the design on the vessel.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
- BS.5232.e (Birch Slip Number)
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Object reference number: YCA68822
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