Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Lead Tessera or Amulet Harpocrates? from Caesarea Maritima


Hi, all.  Here is another tessera or amulet from Caesarea Maritima, unfortunately not too well preserved.  At first I thought it might be a Chnoubis figure with human-head but the right arm is pretty clear.  Then I thought it could be Chnoubis with body of Harpocrates but I have not been able to find any examples of this, even though I seem to remember seeing one once.  I looked through Bonner, BMC, and NYMMoA online collections.  The serpentine lower portion of the figure is probably just the bent knee.  The possible reading of IAW (IAO) would fit well with the type of Harpocrates seated on lotus as an amuletic formula, but any other ideas, corrections, or parallels are welcome.  Thanks, V-Drome.

Lead Tessera
Caesarea Maritima
1st - 3rd century CE
Obv: Harpocrates? seated left, knees bent,
right hand to mouth, left hand lowered behind.
In field to right, A P? or I, in field to left W, or M,
or Σ.  If the figure is indeed Harpocrates the
intended inscription may well be IAW.  Another
possibility is a human-headed Chnoubis figure
or some other unidentified type.
Rev:  Blank
PB 14.2 x 1.5mm. 1.54gm. Axis: NA
Surface find Caesarea Maritima, 1970


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