Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The UCL incantation bowls: did they come from Iraq?

I have noted last weekend's discussion of the UCL incantation bowls in the British press. I now see a Washington-based cultural property observer wisely notes that the newspaper article "fails to detail the basis for the conclusion that the bowls originated in Iraq as opposed to Jordan".

And there is the issue. The report has not, as far as I know, been placed in the public domain (though there is now a copy in the library of the House of Lords). But I can only assume that the compilers of the report would have looked carefully at the known archaeological find-spots of incantation bowls that have been retrieved by scientific methods. Do any such bowls come from confirmed excavated contexts outside Iraq?

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