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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Antiquities| ▸ |Near East Antiquities| ▸ |Holy Land Antiquities||View Options:  |  |  |   

Syro-Palestinian (Holy Land) Antiquities

The Holy Land, also called the Syro-Palestinian region, includes Syria, Phoenicia, Palestine, and Judaea.

Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Glass Double |Balsamarium (Cosmetic Tube), 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Eastern| |Mediterranean,| |Glass| |Double| ||Balsamarium| |(Cosmetic| |Tube),| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
This type was used to store eye makeup. One tube would have held kohl, a black paste made with powdered galena. The other tube would have held another color, perhaps made with an ochre clay (for red or brown) or powdered malachite (for green or blue).
AG20799. cf. Yale Gallery 323, Oppenländer 680a, ROM Glass 458, Corning II 749, Choice, complete and intact, weathering and iridescence, double balsamarium, free-blown thick heavy pale translucent blue-green glass, 20.0 cm (8") tall, two tubes joined side-by-side and sharing a thick globular bottom, applied top "basket" handle attached to applied loop on each side; from the Robert H. Cornell collection, former dealer in Eastern antiquities for 40 years; $990.00 (€910.80)
 


Roman, Syro-Palestinian (|Samaria?), Snake-Thread Flask, Late 2nd - Early 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Syro-Palestinian| |(|Samaria?),| |Snake-Thread| |Flask,| |Late| |2nd| |-| |Early| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
Snake-thread ornamentation originated in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire in the second half of the second century and its popularity peaked in the first half of the third century. Snake-thread decoration was revived in the second half of the fourth century in the east and in the west near Cologne in modern Germany. Serpentine form trails may vary in thickness, may be the same color as the vessel (usually colorless) or brightly colored (common in the West). Ontario Museum 309, with similar subtle snake-thread ornamentation, is attributed to Samaria, 3rd to early 4th century A.D.

A disadvantage of antiquity photographs is that they usually fail to adequately indicate size. This vessel, nearly 5" tall, is larger than most similar vessels of the period.
AG63814. cf. Ontario Museum 309 (for similar ornamentation), Superb, complete and intact, a well made beautiful flask, some weathering, some iridescence, snake thread flask, 12.4 mm (4 7/8") high, funnel mouth with rolled rim, cylindrical neck, bulbous body, snake-thread ornamentation on the body, flat bottom; from a Florida dealer; $800.00 (€736.00)
 


Roman-Byzantine, Syro-Palestinian, Glass Dropper Flask, c. Late 1st - Early 5th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman-Byzantine,| |Syro-Palestinian,| |Glass| |Dropper| |Flask,| |c.| |Late| |1st| |-| |Early| |5th| |Century| |A.D.|
Thick enamel-like weathering, as seen on this piece, is common on glass found in the Levant and this piece is certainly from the Levante. This flask is, however, a bit of a mystery. There is nothing very similar in the large library of ancient and medieval glass references held by Forum. It resembles an aryballos, but lacks the handles which define that type. It probably was used like an aryballos, to store and dispense scented oil which was rubbed on the skin and then scraped off to clean the body. The date is uncertain. Weathering obscures the original color, making another mystery, but the only other a similar flasks we know are described as opaque black glass.
AG20822. Isings -, et al. -; apparently unpublished but two similar pieces are known from the market (priced $2,500 - $3,000!), Choice, complete and intact, thick tan and brown enamel-like weathering, dropper flask, free-blown, amber(?) glass, 12.0 cm (4 3/4") tall, 8.5 cm maximum diameter, piriform body, very short narrow neck, broad flat folded in rim, round bottom with large pontil mark, not designed to stand on its own, attractive clear plexiglass three prong stand included; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; very rare form; $540.00 (€496.80)
 


Caesarea Maritima, Judaea / Syria Palaestina, 1st - 3rd Century A.D., Lead Half Italian Litra Weight

|Weights| |&| |Scales|, |Caesarea| |Maritima,| |Judaea| |/| |Syria| |Palaestina,| |1st| |-| |3rd| |Century| |A.D.,| |Lead| |Half| |Italian| |Litra| |Weight|
A nearly identical specimen, from the same mold, was found near Caesarea Maritima in 1949 and is listed in the Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, Vol. II, Ameling, Cotton, Eck, et.al. on page 621. According to the authors, in Judaea, the term "litra" derived from the Roman word "libra" came to indicate local weight standards between the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. Therefore the word Iταλικη (Italica) was added whenever the Roman standard was intended. This weight is inscribed to indicate it is half an Italian litra. It is about 8 grams short of the standard but it probably originally had an handle attached that would have made it close to the appropriate weight. Around the end of the 3rd century CE, local standards were replaced entirely by the Roman system and the descriptive word Iταλικη was no longer necessary.
AS96251. Corpus Inscriptionum Iudaeae/Palaestinae, Vol. II, p. 621 (nearly identical specimen from the same mold), VF, roughly oval shape, probably missing handle at the top, weight 153.5 g, maximum diameter 87x43 mm, obverse ITA/ΛIK/H H/MI Λ/ITPA (half an Italian litra) in six lines; reverse blank; from The Jimi Berlin Caesarea Collection; surface find 1974 Caesarea Maritima; very rare; $430.00 (€395.60)
 


Roman, Eastern Mediterranean, Twisted Glass Rod, 1st - 2nd Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Eastern| |Mediterranean,| |Twisted| |Glass| |Rod,| |1st| |-| |2nd| |Century| |A.D.|
Isings notes that glass rods are found "everywhere where the Romans were." Most are twisted but some are plain. Most often they have simple flattened ends but pointed ends, and ends with loops or discs, such as on this specimen are published. The purpose of these rods remains a mystery, but they are sometimes called stirring rods or dipping rods, suggesting a couple possibilities.
AG21191. cf. ROM Glass 656b, Lightfoot NMS 458, Kofler-Truniger 201, Bomford 83, Oppenländer 619, Newark Museum 521, Isings 79, Complete, reconstructed from at least three fragments, twisted glass rod, light blue-green semi-transparent glass, bent over to form a loop at one end, the other end pressed flat to form a disk; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $210.00 (€193.20)
 


Roman, Syro-Palestinian, Small Glass Jar with Funnel Mouth, 3rd - 4th Century A.D.

|Glass| |Antiquities|, |Roman,| |Syro-Palestinian,| |Small| |Glass| |Jar| |with| |Funnel| |Mouth,| |3rd| |-| |4th| |Century| |A.D.|
A globular body with a funnel mouth is a very common form from the third to fourth century. Some vessels of this form were finely made, some were decorated, and some, like this specimen were plain and utilitarian.
AG34760. cf. Isings 104b, Yale Gallery 268, Ontario Museum 474 (larger), Average, near completed and intact, part of rim restored (visible in photo), weathering, internal encrustations, iridescence, glass small jar with a flaring mouth, 5.5 cm (2 1/8) tall, 3.5 cm (1 3/8") maximum diameter, free-blown, green glass, many bubbles, bulbous body, short neck, funnel mouth, flat cut rim, round bottom with pontil mark (will not stand), comes with clear plastic stand; from the collection of Alex G. Malloy, former dealer in antiquities for 40 years; $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Late Roman - Byzantine, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), "Elongated" Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 400 - 650 A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Late| |Roman| |-| |Byzantine,| |Holyland| |(Syro-Palestinian),| |"Elongated"| |Pottery| |Oil| |Lamp,| |c.| |400| |-| |650| |A.D.|
This type is identified by Adler as a Transjordan elongated lamp. Adler writes that the shoulders are narrow and ornamented with a wide variety of motifs including linear bands, geometric, and floral designs; the handle is tongue shaped projecting horizontally and decorated with three or more bands; the nozzle is decorated with geometric or floral designs or rarely a cross. The type is found in the northern part of Transjordan, and in Israel, mainly in northern Israel and the Beit Shean area. They date possibly as early as the fifth century, mostly to the sixth century and extending into the first half of the seventh century. In the Hellenistic and Roman eras Beit Shean was the Decapolis city Scythopolis. Click the photo on the right of the Roman theater at Beit Shean, to learn more about the city. Scythopolis
AL93927. Transjordan elongated lamp; Adler type JOR.1, cf. 967 - 968 (similar ornamentation); 8.6 cm (3 5/8") long, Choice, complete and intact, small cut on rim, tiny chips in handle, minor deposits (visible in photos), c. 400/500 - 600/650 A.D.; pink-orange clay, mold made, elongated body, tongue shaped handle rising diagonally ornamented with three vertical bands, double rim around large filling hole, pattern of dots in the angles of zig-zag lines on the shoulders and nozzle, decorative circle on the bottom (not a true ring base); $120.00 (€110.40)
 


Byzantine, Holyland (Northern Israel or Jordan), Beit Natif Related Pottery Lamp, c. 500 - 550 A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Byzantine,| |Holyland| |(Northern| |Israel| |or| |Jordan),| |Beit| |Natif| |Related| |Pottery| |Lamp,| |c.| |500| |-| |550| |A.D.|
This lamp, from northern Israel or Jordan, is a locally made copy of the Beit Natif type. Beit Natif, in southern Israel, is the site of the primary workshop where the prototype "Beit Natif" Judaean lamps were made. This lamp and Beit Natif lamps typically have a round body, a small handle, and the sides of the nozzle are sightly convex (bow-shaped) with a narrow rim around its shoulder that is pinched to strengthen the impression that the sides are convex. The flat ended nozzle is a 6th century characteristic, normally associated with a conical handle. This lamp has the earlier tongue shaped handle style, suggesting it is an early example of Adler type BN.7.
AL93932. Adler type 6.2, BN.7; cf. Alder 960, Qedem 8 515 (conical handle); 8.3 cm (3 1/4") long, near Choice, intact, some surface flaking, small cracks, c. 500 - 550 A.D.; mould-made, buff clay, trace of cream slip, the nozzle ends in almost a straight line, rim on shoulder of nozzle pinched to create the impression the sides are convex, decorations on nozzle obscure, double rim around large filling hole, tongue shaped handle rising diagonally ornamented with three vertical bands, radiating bands on shoulders of body, slight ring base; $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Late Roman - Byzantine, Holyland (Syro-Palestinian), "Elongated" Pottery Oil Lamp, c. 400 - 650 A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Late| |Roman| |-| |Byzantine,| |Holyland| |(Syro-Palestinian),| |"Elongated"| |Pottery| |Oil| |Lamp,| |c.| |400| |-| |650| |A.D.|
This type is identified by Adler as a Transjordan elongated lamp. Adler writes that the shoulders are narrow and ornamented with a wide variety of motifs including linear bands, geometric, and floral designs; the handle is tongue shaped projecting horizontally and decorated with three or more bands; the nozzle is decorated with geometric or floral designs or rarely a cross. The type is found in the northern part of Transjordan, and in Israel, mainly in northern Israel and the Beit Shean area. They date possibly as early as the fifth century, mostly to the sixth century and extending into the first half of the seventh century. In the Hellenistic and Roman eras Beit Shean was the Decapolis city Scythopolis. Click the photo on the right of the ancient ruins at Beit Shean, to learn more about the city. Scythopolis
AL93938. Transjordan elongated lamp; Adler type JOR.1, cf. 967 (smaller, similar ornamentation); 9.2 cm (3 5/8") long, Choice, complete and intact, minor bumps, light earthen deposits, c. 400/500 - 600/650 A.D.; pink-orange clay, mold made, elongated body, tongue shaped handle rising diagonally ornamented with five vertical bands, triple rim around large filling hole, floral-geometric pattern of lines and dots on the shoulders and nozzle, decorative circle on bottom (not a true ring base); $110.00 (€101.20)
 


Byzantine, Holyland (Northern Israel or Jordan), Beit Natif Related Pottery Lamp, c. 400 - 500 A.D.

|Oil| |Lamps|, |Byzantine,| |Holyland| |(Northern| |Israel| |or| |Jordan),| |Beit| |Natif| |Related| |Pottery| |Lamp,| |c.| |400| |-| |500| |A.D.|
This lamp, from northern Israel or Jordan, is a locally made copy of the Beit Natif type. Beit Natif, in southern Israel, is the site of the primary workshop where the prototype "Beit Natif" Judaean lamps were made. This lamp and Beit Natif lamps typically have a round body, a small handle, and the sides of the nozzle are sightly convex (bow-shaped) with a narrow rim around its shoulder that is pinched to strengthen the impression that the sides are convex.
AL93944. Adler type 6.2, BN.6; cf. Alder 953, Warschaw 388, Qedem 8 -; 8.3 cm (3 1/4") long, near Choice, a few small chips, pin head size hole at tip of nozzle and another below handle, ornamentation worn, c. 400 - 500 A.D.; mould-made, pink clay, sides of nozzle are slightly convex, rims on the nozzle shoulder with scroll on each end, decorations on top of nozzle obscure but perhaps grapes, double rim around large filling hole, tongue shaped handle rising diagonally ornamented with four vertical bands, radiating bands on shoulders of body, slight ring base; $110.00 (€101.20)
 




  



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