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Incantation bowl

Pre-Islamic Incantation Bowls

The corpus of Aramaic incantation bowls from Sasanian Mesopotamia is perhaps the most important source we have for studying the everyday beliefs and practices of the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, Zoroastrian and Pagan communities on the eve of the Islamic conquests. The bowls are from the Martin Schøyen Collection (Norway), which has some 650 texts in different varieties of Aramaic (Jewish Aramaic, Mandaic and Syriac), and forms the largest collection of its kind anywhere in the world.

This project, which is a collaboration between Dr Siam Bhayro, Professor Shaul Shaked (The Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Dr James Nathan Ford (Bar Ilan University), and is partly funded by the British Academy, aims to edit and publish the entire Schøyen Collection of Aramaic incantation bowls.

See also the Virtual Magic Bowl Archive for additional resources relating to Aramaic incantation bowls and related corpora.