Byzantine (Coptic) Period
Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Mirgissa
Length x width x depth: 3.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 cm (1 5/16 x 1 5/16 x 1 5/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Cube with incised christian markings, purchased from local nadirs.
Images on cube:a haloed saint; a Byzantine monogram;a second Byzantine monogram; a third Byzantine monogram; a cross; a bird.
Stamps used by monastic communities or Byzantine imperial workshops often featured similar iconography. However, this stamp is unique in that it takes the form of a six sided die.
For Byzantine stamps, see C.A. Mango, “Byzantine Brick Stamps,” American Journal of Archaeology 54.1 (1950): 19-27 and Erica Cruikshank Dodd, “Byzantine Silver Stamps: Supplement II. More Treasure from Syria,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 22 (1968): 141-149.
From Nubia, Mergissa (fort). 1931: purchased from locals. The site was excavated in 1892 by Sir Henry Lyons and in 1962-1969 by Jean Vercoutter.
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition