Zeugma Belkis Bullae

Memet Önal has put on line a copy of the full book publication

He has also published academic articles on specific themes regarding these sealings others from the region. I want to survey them all but I think I best not, but here is my favorite goddess, the goddess of the Crepusii as I think of her.

Original Post:

Machine translation from Turkish with light human editing:

“65,000 bullae (seal imprints) were found in the archive room (Picture 11). This number is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest figure ever found in scientific excavations. As a result of this the Gaziantep Museum has the world’s largest bulla collection. Bullae are made of clay. Clay fabric ranges from brown, black, reddish, gray to bluish in color. The forms are triangular, smooth or those forced into an approximately circular shape. The Belkis bullae are generally made from the impression of a stamped seal and ring stone. Those from embossed rings and engraved stones are numerous. Bulla sizes range between 3-30 mm. The large ones (15-30 mm) often depict the head of the Roman Emperor Augustus. Bullae were formed by squeezing the negative image on the clay to create a positive image, as a result of the stamping of seal and ring tags with a description, name or sign. Bullae were used on official and private papyrus, wooden tablets and wax tablets, money bags, packaging such as postal service items, food and beverage containers, wooden boxes, room doors where valuable goods are found, customs goods, documents of inheritance and waivers. As a result of the stamping the seal on the clay attached to these type of goods, the seal and the pictures on the ring stone appeared on the clay dough. These seals were likely preserved in the archives as proof of receipt of postal items or accessing of materials. The stamped prints reveal the density of this city in trade and communication. This is also proof that there is a customs gate here.”

[full original text and OCR below]

Update later same day:

I’ve ordered this book and am hoping to come back with more info on these seals.

And I got a little help from twitter to translate yemenli, a fun thread!

Also, the best work on sealings I’ve seen to date is that by Jen Hicks on Seleucid uses!

I also want at some point to look at the glossy publications of all the materials from Seleucia on the Tigris where some 30,000 sealings were found:

OCR text

Arsiv odasinda 65.000 adet bulla (mühür baskist) ele gegmistir (Resim 11). Bu says, bilindigi kadamyla bugüne kadar bilimsel kazilarda ele geçmis olan en büyük rakamdir. Bu çalisma neticesinde

Gaziantep Müzesi dünyanin en büyük bulla koJeksiyonuna sahip olmustur. Bullalar kilden yapil-mister. Kil hamuru kahverengi, siyah, karmizi, gri ve mavimsi renktedir. Formlar üsgen, düz ve yemeni biçimindedir. Belkis bullalar genel olarak kazima betimli mühür ve yüzük tasinun basilmastyla yapilmistir. Kabartma betimli yüzük tast baskili olanlar ise a sayidadir. Bulla ebatlari genel olarak 3-30 mm arasindadir. Iri ebath olanlar (15-30 mm) genel olarak Roma Imparatoru Avgus-tus’un basinn betimlendigi bullalardir. Uzerlerinde betim, isim veya isaret olan mühür ve yüzük taglarinin kil hamuru üzerine basilmasi neticesin-de üzerlerindeki negatif betimlerin pozitif, pozitif betimlerin ise negatif olarak kil hamuru üzerine sikmasiyla bullalar meydana gelmekteydi. Bulla-lar resmi ve ozel papirüs, tahta tablet ve balmu-mu tablet, para torbasi, paket gibi posta gönderiJerini, yiyecek içecek kaplarini, ahsap kutulari de-gerli mallari bulundugu oda kapilarini, gümrük mallarini, veraset ve feragat belgelerini mühürle-me gibi islevler için cok amach olarak kullanilmistir. Bu tip esyalara baglanan kil hamuruna mühür basilmasi neticesinde kil hamuru üzerine mühür ve yuzük tasi üzerindeki resimler gikmaktaydi.

Bu mühürler posta gönderilerinin alindi veya malzemelerin acildi kaniti olarak arsiv odasinda korunmaktaydi. Mühür baskilar bu kentin ticaret ve haberlesmedeki yogunlugunu gözler önüne serilmistir. Bu ayni zamanda burada bir gümrük kapisinin da bulundugunun kanitidir.

From: Mehmet Onal. 2000. “Belkis’ta sular yükselirken…” in Arkeoloji ve Sanat 98, 29-33.

4 thoughts on “Zeugma Belkis Bullae”

  1. This great! Thank you so much! Also is there ANYTHING I’m interested in that you don’t know a ton about?! It’s delightfully uncanny.

  2. Keeps me alert. This is why I follow you and Carraher. In your case, yes, it’s strangely close to my interests but still feel like a bit of a metic in Italy, so I can learn a ton…

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