Jordan Archaeological Museum
Hegira, first half of the 2nd century / AD 8th century
Height 70 cm, width 38 cm
A rectangular inscribed stone that has a Qur'anic verse known as 'Ayat al-Kursi' ('the Throne Verse') from Sura 2 (al-Baqara), verse 255:
'God! There is no God but he, the living, the self-subsisting: neither slumber nor sleep seizeth him! To him belong what so ever is in heaven, and on earth. Who is he that can intercede with him, but through his good pleasure? He knows that which is past, and that which is it come unto them, and they shall not comprehend anything of his knowledge, but so far as he pleaseth. His throne is extended over heaven and earth, and preservation of both is no burden unto him. He is the high, the mighty.'
The inscription in kufic script is deeply incised into the stone. Comprising about ten lines, the letters are long and angular in shape, an indication that this stone inscription is of an early date. The function of the stone was to protect the owner, his family and the house from the 'evil eye'. This custom is still alive very much alive today; in many Jordanian houses one will still see such blessings on ceramic panels, laminated copper panels, embroideries, and for women and children, gold pendants.
Currently on loan to the Royal Court Gallery
The inscription stone was dated by stylistic analysis of the script and by dating pottery shards that were found in the in the archaeological strata close by.
The inscription stone was found in 1958 in the course of a rescue excavation carried out by the Department of Antiquities of in the centre of Amman.
The provenance of this inscription stone is known because it was found during an archaeological excavation at in the centre of Amman.
العابدي. محمود، الآثار الإسلامية في فلسطين و الأردن، عمان، 1973، ص 238.
Aida Naghawy "Inscription stone" in Discover Islamic Art , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;ISL;jo;Mus01;4;en&id=amulets_and_talismans
Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy
Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: JO 04
On display in
Exhibition(s) Discover Islamic Art
DownloadAs PDF (including images) As Word (text only)