- Museum number
Calcite-alabaster stela; carved; depicts draped male figure in centre with one arm raised and other holding a dagger, framed in a border of bulls' heads seen en face and recumbent ibexes seen in profile; regular moulding decoration between recumbent ibexes and above bull's heads; inscription at top centre below bulls' heads and above draped figure; damaged and incomplete. Dark discolouration over the surfaces resulting from burning in antiquity.
- Production date
- 1stC BC-1stC
Height: 149.50 centimetres (Inside Frame)
Height: 143 centimetres (Object)
Width: 67.30 centimetres (Inside Frame)
Width: 60 centimetres (Object)
Depth: 10 centimetres (Inside Frame)
- Curator's comments
This calcite-alabaster stela depicts a draped male figure facing left, with one arm raised and other holding a sword, framed in a border of bulls' heads and rams. It has geometric mouldings, and an inscription at the top centre (below bulls' heads and above draped figure) which reads: Wahab'il', a common personal name in Sabaean, Minaean and Qatabanian (Ryckmans 1934a; illustrated by Philby 1981a, 116). The style of this closely matches a more complete example from the National Museum, Sanaa' (Simpson StJ 2002a, cat 124, 117); a small fragment of a third such stela, consisting of the head of a man with short hair and a fragmentary inscription naming him as Sharah, son of [the clan] of [. . .]', exists in the ex-Wellcome collection in the University of Wales in Swansea (Kitchen 1997, 2412, no. 1 and refs).
Costa, P. 1971 Pre-Islamic Antiquities at the Yemen National Museum (Roma), p. 24, Pl VIIa, cat no. 12 (- pose and sword)
Kitchen, K.A., 1997. Three Old-South-Arabian Fragments in the Wellcome Collection, University of Wales, Swansea', Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy 8/2 (November), 241-44.
Considered for loan to the Bowers but rejected on Conservation advice because of the risk of moving joins.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018 17 Jan-2 Jul, Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, 'Arabia Felix: Treasures from Ancient South Arabia'
2002 5 Jun-13 Oct, BM, 'Queen of Sheba: Treasures from ancient Yemen'
1976-1997 BM, West Stairs; South Arabian Landing [SAL], north wall
- Fragmentary; restored from 17 fragments
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Deposited by Geoffrey Turner in the form of "17 alabaster fragments" on 2 July 1971 (deposit book entry 2682).
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number