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Holy Land art artifacts

Byzantine oil lamp - Holy land pottery - Astarte - Pilgrim flask - True cross
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Astarte glass roundel ritually broken, 5th-4th century B.C. Holy Land area, black stamped glass with figure of Astarte with necklace, 3 cm high. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

Jordanian alabaster cosmetic palette, 7th-6th Century B.C. In the form of a stylised figure, both the front and back of the approximately rectangular palette/body with dot and circle border on three sides, with incised patterned edges, surmounted by a stylised head incised with large almond-shaped eyes, the headdress with 'feathered' lappets, pierced above the neck, 9cm high. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

Pilgrim flask, Coptic Egypt, 480- 650 A.D. Depicting Saint Menas on eithe side, flanked by camels, his arms outstretched in blessing, above each arm is a quincunx, representing a cross, all within a beaded circular border. These small flasks were probably produced at the pilgrimage center of Abu Mena, south-west of Alexandria, to sell to the devout as a souvenir of a visit and have been deduced to have contained holy water or oil from the shrine, 9.5 high. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

Byzantine oil lamp, 4th-5th century A.D. 9 cm long. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

Christian amulet with opening words of the 91st. Psalm, 5th-6th century A.D. Bronze leaf shaped amulet depicting on one side a Angel holding a sceptre, on other side OKA TOIKO NENBO HOIAT OYY, 4 cm long. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

True cross, 7th-8th century A.D. There are four distinct types, one with H-N-E-I in corners, one with three human figures, one with two human figures and X’s on horizontal side bars and one with two, slightly larger, human figures and no X’s. All his specimens are from the same hoard, found in Turkey. They represent aspects of the Crucifixion and probably allude to recovery of the True Cross by the emperor Heraclus (610-641 A.D.) from the Sassanians. He brought it back to Constantinople.

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Ancient artifacts

True cross clay token with the emblem of the cross and X on horizontal side bars and two figures that could be Apostle Peter and St. Paul, 1.6 cm diameter. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

True cross, the most precious relic preserved by the Byzantine church was the True Cross, claimed to be the actual cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Discovered in the 320 during the renovations of the pilgrimage sites in Jerusalem under Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, the Cross had been venerated by generations of pilgrims by the seventh century. The two figures are Saints Helena and Constantine or possibly Mary and John, 2.2 cm diameter. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

True cross tokens were issued as souvenirs of the celebrations accompanying the return of the Cross to Jerusalem in 630 A.D. They are small clay or terra-cotta "medallions", made by pressing a lump of clay into a probably wooden mold. It is said that a piece of the wood of the Cross was burned and the ash mixed with the clay, hence the tokens, themselves, became miniature reliquaries, 1.9 cm diameter. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts

True cross with a Greek cross with the letters H N E I in the angles, likely reading is hn ei(dos), "behold the appearance (of the Cross)", 1.5 cm diameter. Private collection

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Ancient artifacts