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Stone Block with a Spurious Inscription
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Stone Block with a Spurious Inscription


Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description This rectangular block has a two-line "boustrophedon" inscription. The term, which translates as "turning like oxen in plowing," describes inscriptions that read continuously from right to left and then left to right, a common feature in South Arabian texts before the 4th century BC. This text, however, is unintelligible, and it is likely that it was produced in modern times. Yemeni forgers occasionally produce easily transportable pieces, like this example, to sell to foreign visitors. In this case, the maker had no knowledge of the ancient South Arabian language and merely copied the letters.
Exhibitions
  • Faces of Ancient Arabia: The Giraud and Carolyn Foster Collection of South Arabian Art. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2008.
Provenance Sotheby's, London, between 1963 and 1971; Giraud and Carolyn Foster, Baltimore, between 1963 and 1971, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 2007, by gift.
Credit Gift of Giraud and Carolyn Foster, 2007

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Creator
Period
20th century
Medium
limestone
(Sculpture)
Accession Number
2007.17.49
Measurements
H: 2 1/2 x W: 4 3/16 x D: 1 9/16 in. (6.4 x 10.6 x 4 cm)
Geographies
  • Yemen (Place of Origin)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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