Aramaic Incantation Bowl

Culture: Mesopotamia
Period: 6th century A.D.
Material: Terracotta
Dimensions: 17.5 cm in diameter
Price: Sold
Ref: 6412
Provenance: From an old Swiss private collection. Thence with the Antikenkabinett Gackstätter with the list number 02651. There prior to 2005 acquired by a Munich collector. With the original certificate of the Antikenkabinett Gackstätter.
Condition: Intact
Description: The wide, curved bowl with a round base is written and painted inside. The text, in this case a mock writing, starts at the rim and runs in three spirals to the left, then the "writing" merges into a spiral line which continues until the bottom. Bowls such as the present one were buried upside down in house entrances to catch evil ghosts. The spiral text should eventually make the demons dizzy. In the centre of the bowl a figure with raised hands and a spider are painted. Hence the demon is symbolically caught in the net. Incantation bowls such as the present one were popular during the Sasanian period in Mesopotamia. When they were not written with a mock writing, such as the present one, they were written in Aramaic language.