Stamp (vessel): mikyala. Measure of 'sukk'. Two line inscription. Made of green glass.
- Width: 2.3 centimetres
Inscription Translation(1) Mikyala
(2) of sukk.
From the same die: Casanova, P. 1893. Catalogue des pièces de verre des époques byzantine et arabe de la collection Fouquet. ‘Mémoires publicées par les membres de la Mission Archéologique Francaise au Caire’ VI. Paris, 91; Miles, G.C. 1951. ‘Early Arabic Weights and Stamps: a supplement’. New York, 41; Vire, 33; Launois, Aimée. 1957. Estampilles et poids faibles en verre Omeyyades et Abbasides au Musée Arabe du Caire, ‘Mélanges islamologiques’ III, 296; Balog, P. 1976. ‘Ummayad, ʿAbbasid and Ṭūlūnid glass weights and vessel-stamps’. New York, 881; Balog, P. 1973. Pois et estampilles en verre et poids en bronze musulman de Musée d’Art et d'Histoire de Gèneve. ‘Gènava’ XXI. Genève, 33- Cf. Launois 1957, 297-300; Miles, G.C. 1971. ‘Umayyad and ʿAbbasid glass weights and measure stamps in the Corning Museum’. Corning, 60.
Although this type of stamp is quite common it is the only one on which the name of the commodity 'sukk' appears. It is obviously a little surprising that something should be widely sold by measure for a brief period only. The reading itself cannot in any case be regarded as entirely certain. The suggestion 'nabīdh', 'wine', is not unattractive but although in Kufic script three 'teeth' may often stand as well for three 'tooth letters' as a single 'sīn', in this case the compact grouping of the 'teeth' favours reading them as 'sīn', or of course 'shīn'. Wine also brings up the question of the official countenancing of the sale of alcoholic drinks. To make a highly implausible suggestion, if it were the case that any of the vast number of substances listed in the pharmacopoeias was likely to turn up on the stamps one might even be tempted to propose one which certainly meets the epigraphic requirements, 'shukk', a kind of rat poison.
The script of this type suggests a date in the middle of the second century. Although the 'kāf' of mikyala is not greatly extended other features of the script make it not unlikely that the stamp does in fact belong to what we have called the 'long-kāf' group.
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Object reference number: RRM1548
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