- Museum number
Gold bracelet; penannular; engraved South Arabian inscription on concave inner surface.
Diameter: 6.60 centimetres (exterior)
Diameter: 5.90 centimetres (interior)
Thickness: 1.10 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Pair with 1977,0226.32 (BM.136830).
Found in 1977,0226.1 (BM.136799).
This is a penannular bracelet with plain terminals and concave inner section, inscribed on the inner (hidden) side with two inscriptions: 'Yt 'rdm' and 'Tnyt'. These are both personal names, the first is only attested on a calcite-alabaster head in the Berlin Museum (CIH 802) and the second is only attested in Safaitic although the Sabaean names 'Tny' or 'Tnym' are known (Bron pers. comm.). The inscriptions appear to have been cast rather than punched or incised. The narrow diameter of the bracelet suggests that it may have been intended for a child or possibly as a dedicatory offering to a temple.
Bowers catalogue entry
Possibly from the Wadi Bayhan
External diameter 7.3-7.5 cm, width 1 cm, thickness 0.35 cm; 75.3 g weight
ANE 1977-2-26,31 = 136829
Purchased from Nicholas Wright; a previous owner is said to have been the Emir of Bayhan
This is a penannular bracelet with plain terminals and concave inner section, inscribed on the inner (hidden) side with two inscriptions: “Yt radum” and “Tanyt”. These are both personal names: the first is only attested on a calcite-alabaster head in the Berlin Museum and the second is only attested in Safaitic although similar names in Sabaean are known. The inscriptions appear to have been cast rather than punched or incised. The narrow diameter of the bracelet suggests that it may have been intended for a child or possibly was made as a dedicatory offering to a temple.
"Treasures of the World's Cultures: The British Museum after 250 Years" catalogue entry
Inscribed gold bracelet
Possibly 1st century
Possibly from the Wadi Bayhan, Yemen
Diameter 7.3-7.5 cm; weight 75.3 g
St J. Simpson ed., Queen of Sheba: Treasures from ancient Yemen (London 2002), p.175, cat. 225; M. Maraqten, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 15/1 (April 2005), pp.103-104
Ancient South Arabia is popularly associated with the origin of the Queen of Sheba and the source of a well attested ancient trade in incense and perfume. The biblical accounts of the meeting of the queen of Sheba and king Solomon also refers to the gifting of gold. There are many interpretations of these accounts and the absence of independent historical evidence for queens in ancient southern Arabia has led many scholars to question the veracity of this story. Nevertheless, the high value placed on these traded substances and their association with southern Arabia are correct. Gold has been mined in this region for over two and a half millennia, and it was used to make very refined jewellery.
This bracelet is inscribed on the inner (hidden) side with two ancient South Arabian inscriptions: Yt’rdm and Tnyt. These are both personal names. The first is a compound name consisting of the theophoric element Yati’ which represents a deity and means “helper” and the verbal element rdm, “to give in exchange, to replace, substitute”. This name can therefore be translated as “Yati’ has substituted”. The second name nyt contains the feminine ending -t which means “the second one”. This name is attested in Arabic and early north Arabic, and the form tny is also present in pre-Islamic inscriptions in the Minaean dialect of southern Arabia. The narrow diameter of the bracelet suggests that it may have been intended for a child or possibly it was made as a dedicatory offering to a temple.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2012 April - August, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, 'Treasures of the World’s Cultures'
2007 14 Sep-2 Dec, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2007 3 Feb-27 May, Taipei, National Palace Museum, Treasures of the World's Cultures
2004-2005 17 Oct-13 Mar, California, Bowers Museum, 'Queen of Sheba: Legend and Reality'
2002 5 Jun-13 Oct, BM, 'Queen of Sheba: Treasures from ancient Yemen' first exhibition of.
- Fair; some old scratches and surface abrasion; minor bends ; numerous minor chips and scratches (2006 condition report).
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Reputedly from the collection of the Sheikh of Baihan.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number