- Museum number
Calcite-alabaster funerary stela; carved in low relief and lightly polished on the face; top of the arch curves like a bow and ends in dragon's heads; ornamental vinescroll; supported on two pillars like Egyptian papyrus columns; in upper register is goddess, frontal and enthroned, clad in a sleeved costume with appliqué patterns (?) with child and two attendants in long tunics, the left raising his hand with a bag attached to his waist; the right hand one raises a cup and has a medallion with a tassel around his neck; in a field is a sheep, goat or horse and below is a horizontal inscribed band; below a seated woman plays a lyre and has her left hand on the head of a recumbent figure propped on a well upholstered couch who is wearing a slight garment; in a field is a horse; inscription.
- Production date
- 1stC BC-1stC
Height: 46 centimetres
Thickness: 6.50 centimetres
Width: 29 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Cast made by the Cast Service in 1961, as Transfers Book records that it was sent to the "Cast Dept" from 7/6/61 - 22/6/61. A cast is listed as available in the British Museum Facsimile Service 'Catalogue of Replicas from British Museum collections' (n.d.), in the series "West Semitic Inscriptions: South Arabian".
King (2004) compares the iconography of the main seated figure cradling a lyre to earlier ancient Egyptian imagery of Isis with Osiris and later Christian imagery of the Virgin and Child to suggest there were prototypes familiar in Arabia for the seated Maryam figure.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2017-2018 17 Jan-2 Jul, Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, 'Arabia Felix: Treasures from Ancient South Arabia'
2002-2005 Aug-16 Dec, BM, G51/PSA/4
1976-1997 BM, West Stairs: South Arabian Landing [SAL], wall-case 2 [WC2]
1961 BM, Syrian Room, Bay A
- Lightly abraded in places
- Acquisition notes
- According to CIS IV/II, 419, quoting Clermont-Ganneau, this object was brought to Jerusalem by a Yemeni Jew called Aron Arocian; it is published in 1870 and 1871 by Clermont-Ganneau and Gildemeister (the latter publication being illustrated with a lithograph based on a paper squeeze of the upper portion), and the piece was very likely sold to the BM by Clermont-Ganneau in those years, as in the case of the Siloam inscriptions which were registered in 1871.
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: CIH 419 (siglum)
Miscellaneous number: Halevy 680 (siglum)
Miscellaneous number: SOC.47 (Semitic Old Collection registration number)