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Volume :11 Issue : 43 1993      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Four Pottery Seals in the Collection of Kuwait National Museum (in Arabic)

Auther : Ahmad Abdel Raziq Ahmad

I

This research deals with identifying four pottery seals which were kept in the department of Islamic Antiquities in Kuwait National Museum before the Iraqi invasion. The four seals have not yet been published. They are all cylindric in form and made of rosy or yellowish green clay decorated with different motifs and surmounted with handles to facilitate its usage.

The chemical analysis that was done on some of the similar examples found in Fustat, the first capital of Islamic Egypt, proved that such seals were made of the Tebbin clay, the Nile silt, and the Mokkatam limestone in different proportions, as well as that all these materials were near the potters in the Fustat area.

II

The study of the decorative motifs on the seals revealed the existence of some Arabic inscription in both simple and floral Kufic within varied geometric designs. Such inscription throws the light on some human thoughts and aspects in the middle ages, especially the expressions that were said while eating certain kinds of desserts we still find in the markets today.

Animal designs played a great role in the decoration of some seals as we can see on some of the animal shapes, birds or fish carved alone or accompanied with some geometric or floral designs, The decoration of those seals were unique on some floral motifs made of seven petal flowers, trilobe leaves, or wavy branches ending in half a leaf with two or three petals.

III

All the previously mentioned decorative elements helped in dating this collection of seals by comparing them to similar pieces in other Islamic Museums, and were thus able to be attributed to Egypt in the time between the third and the seventh A. H./ nineth to thirteen A.D.

The study of those seals also revealed that they were used to print some decorative motifs on the special cookies baked in the different feasts and festivals abundantly celebrated during the Fatimid period. In those feasts or festivals, the baking of cookies was accompanied with many surprises prepared by the rulers such as filling them with golden Dinars as a present to these who were invited to the rulers table. .

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