- Museum number
Copper alloy plaque with a Sabaean dedicatory inscription to 'Almaqah; lost-wax cast with letters in low relief; at the top a pair of antithetical sphinxes each with one raised forepaw flank a central stylised Tree of Life, framed by a pair of date-palms in full fruit; decorated borders, floral patterns at the bottom; circular perforation in each corner
- Production date
- 1stC BC-2ndC (probably)
Thickness: 0.40 - 0.50 centimetres
Width: 27.50 - 28.50 centimetres
Diameter: 0.50 centimetres (perforations)
Height: 2.50 centimetres (letters)
Height: 45 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Inscriptions such as this were originally nailed onto the temple walls as a permanent reminder of the act of dedication. For Hirran as the name of a temple, see Ryckmans, 'Noms propres', p. 332. Hand written description on the record card thus:
"Bronze plate, cast, with decoration & inscription in raised letters. Above: two sphinxes with a stylised plant below, below text. Sabaean. Dedication of Riyab & his brothers, grandsons of Marthad & their tribe of Dhu Amran, to their patron god, Ilmakkah of Hirran, in return for his protection (given) for their gift of eight golden barims worth of wheat. In the year of 'Amkarib, s. of Samankarib, s. of Hazfar of Tathwar".
The object was sent for moulding by Mr David Giles from 10 September and 15 October 1982 (WAA, 'Objects to Lab' book).
- On display (G53/dc2)
- Exhibition history
2007- 11 Jun-, BM, G53/South Arabia/2
2006 13 Apr-Dec, BM, G2/66
1997-2005 Aug-16 Dec, BM, G51/PSA/4
1976-1997 BM, West Stairs: South Arabian Landing [SAL], south wall
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This group "were discovered at Amran, near San'a, in or before the year 1855" (S. Birch, 'Inscriptions in the Himyaritic character now deposited in the British Museum, chiefly discovered in South Arabia', London 1863). Trustees Papers, Miscellaneous Communications, 29 October 1862, no. 10172, on the presentation of "copper plates from Amran"; Report of Donations, 5/11/62 (received 6/11/62), no. 10370: report of receipt of Coghlan's suggestion that inscriptions be published; General Reports, 5/11/62, no. 10370, on the publication of Himyaritic inscriptions and a bowl; 10/12/62, no. 11462, likely publication cost estimated at £100.
Donation acknowledged with thanks by Birch, letter dated 30/12/62 (ANE Correspondence).
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: CIH 73 (siglum)
Miscellaneous number: Os. 1 (Osiander)
Miscellaneous number: RES 2691.A (old siglum)