- Museum number
Pottery incantation bowl: flat-based bowl with simple rim and convex wall; wheel-thrown; inscribed in spiral from the centre outwards and continuing on the exterior of the bowl. Mandaic text. The text comprises three incantations. The first on behalf of Bashniray daughter of Shahafrid, Halba and Izat, describes the subjugation of a lilith, the second intercedes briefly for the welfare of Halba, the third relates a dream of Bashniray.
- Production date
Diameter: 18.50 centimetres
Depth: 6.70 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The bowl has two separate incantations separated by a line and relate to the expulsion of a lilith and the report of a dream by the client, Bashniray, daughter of Shahafrid. There are parallels on two other bowls (BM 91780 and one in the Schoyen collection), and the reported dream should now be re-interpreted as a magical motif rather than an actual dream.
The reference to the expulsion of the demon is similar to that for divorces in Akkadian marriage contracts and is a motif which recurs on many Jewish Aramaic and other Mandaic incantation bowls where the demon is ordered to accept a bill of divorce, hence the reference to 'marital property', 'cash box', 'dowry' and 'mlug' property on the present text. The text is therefore another good example for illustrating how Babylonian traditions and vocabulary survived into the late Sasanian period, and how everyday and legal practices are being translated into the world of powerful household magic.
Ford's edition of this bowl supercedes those of Segal and Muller-Kessler and discusses these points in detail.
Similar text formulae on bowls in the Moussaieff Collection (M24, M139) published by Morgenstern 2012, as well as Hilprecht Collection (HS 3021, 3025) and Yale Babylonian Collection (YBC 15334).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Found marked "Tel - IB 81-7-14".
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 084M (siglum)
Miscellaneous number: 34 (exhibition number (black))
Miscellaneous number: 885 (exhibition number (red))