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Small archaeological finds of Sir Mark Aurel Stein

A pull-string bag of plain canvas with attached paper label in Sir Aurel Stein's hand reading '18.4.38 | Specimens of painted | pottery & worked stones | from | Umm Khīr on route | from Hatra to Al Ghail.'. The contents comprise 15 pieces of varying sizes, 8 of painted pottery and 7 others most or all of flint. These finds from Iraq are recorded in Stein's field diary at MS. Stein 229, fol. 105r.

A Roman bronze coin of Helena as Augusta (AD 325-330), minted at Antioch, diameter c. 20 mm.: (obverse) bust of Helena with 'FLHELENA AVGVSTA', and (reverse) a female figure, draped, standing and holding a branch downwards, with the legend 'SECVRITAS REIPVBLICE' and 'SMANTI' in exergue (mint of Antioch). This is accompanied by a cardboard disk labelled in the hand of Sir Aurel Stein 'Roman Æ | cast | Abū Hāmda', the two items kept together in a small envelope with the printed reference 'D G A 20.' and an inscription in Stein's hand, 'Imperial Roman | coin | found at Castellum | Abū Hāmda | April, 1938'. This is in turn preserved in an outer envelope inscribed by Stein 'Roman Imperial Coin Æ | found at Castellum | Abū Hamda | April, 1940'. The date of Stein's find of the coin at Abū Hāmda [Iraq] was 21 April 1938, see MS. Stein 229, fol. 109v.

A small brown-paper bag, labelled in Sir Aurel Stein's hand '15.i.40 | Bāmassā Thēr (crossed out) | Rang Mahal, from | debris on N.-slope.', containing two small pottery fragments with incised designs, one of small hemispherical shape and the other from the edge of a vessel. On 15 Jan. 1940 Stein was at Peshawar, now NW Pakistan; the date here may be that of classification rather than discovery.

A flat metal plate of oval shape, damaged, mounted on a rectangular base of hard wood with upper edges bevelled, the whole piece measuring W63 x H45 x D24 mm. The bottom surface is partly covered by two pieces of brownish paper. Preserved in a 20th-cent. box-lid with printed label 'Adamantine 4 oz. electro plated pins | Made in England'. Perhaps the remains of a small printer's block or large seal, 19th cent.(?), though the surface of the metal preserves little or no trace of any design. There is no direct evidence of connection with Sir Aurel Stein for this item, apart from its context with the others.

Found in the Library, October 2008.

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