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pilgrim flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    EA23328

  • Description

    Pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, the neck is damaged and both handles are now missing. On each side, within an inscribed border, Saint Menas stands to front, his arms raised in blessing. He has a nimbus, wears a short tunic and a long cloak, and is flanked by camels. A Greek inscription, in relief. Both sides came from moulds produced from the same archetype: one is twisted slightly in relation to the other. Buff-brown clay.

    More 

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 480-650 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8.2 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 6.5 centimetres (max)
    • Thickness: 1.8 centimetres (max)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        inscription
      • Inscription Position

        each side
      • Inscription Language

        Greek
      • Inscription Content

        ΕΥΛOΓIΑΤOΥΑΓIOΥΜΗΝΑ+
      • Inscription Translation

        Blessing of Saint Menas.
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Purchased: Greville J. Chester.

    Late Roman, about AD 480-650.

    Comparanda:
    Close: Hayes 1976: 117, no. 273, dated late sixth to seventh century AD; Heide and Thiel 2004: 146, no. iii.3.23-4, dated seventh century AD; Kaufmann 1908: 69, fig. 48:6, from the kiln area at Abu Mena; Metzger 1981: no. 72, dated sixth to seventh century AD; Witt 2000: no. 47, from Abu Mena, dated end of fifth to mid-seventh century AD.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3451 bibliographic details
    • Hall 1905 p.19-20, pl.15 bibliographic details
  • Condition

    fair (worn, neck damaged and both handles missing)

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 June 1999

    Reason for treatment

    Publication/Catalogue

    Treatment proposal

    Remove surface dust.

    Condition

    Some surface dust and dirt, encrustation. Ceramic still has a fairly good surface as far as can be seen where it is still exposed, but may be soft and vulnerable to scalpel blades

    Treatment details

    Some light cleaning of encrustation in detail of moulding with air-abrasive using Aluminium oxide, No1 powder with air pressure at 85psi and powder at number 2/3, as the surface of the ceramic was too soft to allow for picking the encrustation away with a scalpel blade, (the ceramic surface came away with it). The air abrasive technique allowed for the encrustation to the pared down from the outside toward the ceramic. The encrustation was reduced enough to allow the moulded design to be seen under a raking light.

    About these records 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1889

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number

    EA23328

  • Registration number

    1889,1014.216

  • Additional IDs

    • O.Brit.Mus.Copt. I 15:1
Brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, the neck is damaged and both handles are now missing, each face is elaborated with an impressed representation of St Menas surrounded by a Greek text.

Brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, the neck is damaged and both handles are now missing, each face is elaborated with an impressed representation of St Menas surrounded by a Greek text.

Image description

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Object reference number: YCA68815

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