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pilgrim flask

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Red-brown pottery pilgrim-flask with circular body, short neck and two handles, the whole is covered with a light-brown slip. On each side, within a border of small studs, Saint Menas stands to front, his arms outstretched in blessing. Above each arm is a group of four studs, probably representing a cross. He has curly hair, and wears a short tunic and a long cloak, and is flanked by camels. Both sides are from moulds produced from the same archetype, but one has come from its mould with more detail than the other. The mouth is largely missing and a large hole is broken through one side.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 480-650 (circa)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 8.8 centimetres (max)
    • Width: 7.4 centimetres (max)
    • Thickness: 2.1 centimetres (max)
  • Curator's comments

    Terracotta IV
    Purchased: Second Townley Collection, acquired in 1814.

    Late Roman, about AD 480-650.

    Close: Kaufmann 1910: 95, fig. 33, from Abu Mena; Kiss 1989a: nos 39 (fig. 60), 41 and 42, from Kom el-Dikka, Alexandria, context of AD 600-620, and nos 43, 54, 55, 60 and 90, context of AD 610-650; Willems and Clarysse 2000: 180, no. 60, dated fifth century AD.
    Near: George 1974: 33, figs 3 and 4; Grossmann 1982: pl. 21a, from Abu Mena.


  • Bibliography

    • Terracotta 3427 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Condition

    fair (worn - neck and body damaged)

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    9 June 1999

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    light clean


    Surface dust, dirt. Ceramic body and surface soft and vulnerable to scalpel blades

    Treatment details

    Surface cleaned with soft brush and a jet of air to remove the dust.

    About these records 

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Second Townley Collection.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • BS.5232.b (Birch Slip Number)

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Object reference number: YCA68808

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