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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.
- 480-650 (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Alexandria
- (Africa,Egypt,Lower Egypt,Nile Delta,Alexandria (Egypt))
- Height: 8.2 centimetres (max)
- Width: 6.5 centimetres (max)
- Thickness: 1.8 centimetres (max)
Inscription Positioneach side
Inscription TranslationBlessing of Saint Menas.
Purchased: Greville J. Chester.
Late Roman, about AD 480-650.
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.
Not on display
fair (worn, neck damaged and both handles missing)
9 June 1999
Reason for treatment
Remove surface dust.
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
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.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
- 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.
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Object reference number: YCA68815
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