Antiquities > Seals and Tesserae

Tetrarchic Period, Lead Seal, Facing Head / Reverse Flat, c. 300 A.D.

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Joe Sermarini:
Tetrarchic Period, lead seal, facing head of an uncertain tetrarchic ruler /  reverse flat, c. 300 A.D.
15.634g, 32mm long

The description is from the consignor. I don't know what this is, but I don't think it is a tetrarch.

I haven't even opened a book yet. I am just looking for the right direction. Anyone know or have an idea? Thanks.

Certainly not a tetrarch, although I have no idea what it is. Seems a bit older than late 3rd century, doesn't it?

Joe Sermarini:
After looking again, I believe the head might be intended to depict a "Nubian" and yes, older than late 3rd century.

I think you may well be right.

Joe Sermarini:
OK, so this piece has been sitting on my desk for a very long time. Of course the consignor wants to sell it, but I do not know how to describe it or date it.  Any ideas will be greatly appreciated.

I am very sure the face is intended to be a Nubian (although according to the Met website, the Greeks called al black Africans Ethiopian, not Nubian).

It does not appear to have been on a cord, so it is not a bulla sealing. I think it must be either a tessera or a votive offering. Are there other tessera this shape? None that I know about.

Ideas? Thoughts? Anything?   


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