Osten; the omega oddly made with three disconnected strokes; D, snake; E, human figure with clumsily cut head, perhaps that of some animal.35
Along with the gems bequeathed by Mr. W. Gedney Beatty the Metropolitan Museum acquired a few amuletic stones. One of them is a highly polished hexagonal prism of black jasper, bored at each end, though the perforation does not seem to go all the way through the stone.36
Two of the faces are broader than the others. On one is Pan, standing with his hands on his hips; a few letters are cut in the field, and below is Ιαω. On the other in a narrow column is the inscription βαδητοφωθ βακαξιχυχ, two very common magical words which seem to occur most frequently with figures of the lion-headed solar demon.
More elaborate is a flat, irregularly hexagonal prism in the possession of President A. G. Ruthven (D. 363
). The material, unusual in such amulets, is amazonite, a kind of green feldspar. The stone is perforated near one end of the narrow base. Designs are cut only on the two broad faces of the prism, but an inscription, which begins on the principal face, is continued on the bottom, one of the narrow lateral faces, and the top. The principal design, cut on the more highly polished of the broad faces, is Anubis standing on a globe and grasping a scorpion with his extended right hand, which also holds a torch or possibly a short scepter with an ornament at the top. The long inscription which begins here is the Chabrach formula with the numerical value 9999. It is usually associated, not with Anubis, but with Harpocrates. A few other letters in the field are meaningless.
The principal figure of the opposite face is a goddess, probably Isis, standing on a crocodile; her right hand is extended, her left holds a serpent. Slightly above, at the left, is an extremely crude attempt at a much smaller figure, standing, which carries a flail whip over the left shoulder and brandishes a weapon in the right hand. The whole is indistinct. Below are, left, a dancing Pan with faintly distinguishable syrinx and throwing stick, and a pantheos with “standard” head, that is, an upright from each side of which project heads of animals (unrecognizable), two on each side. On the right margin is a legible but meaningless inscription, not of the familiar kind, and there are unrelated letters elsewhere in the field.
To this group belongs a poor specimen in the Walters Gallery, a much-worn hexagonal prism of carnelian.37
On one of the broader faces a rude figure, clad in a tunic girt in at the waist and flaring out at the knees (like the Egyptian apron), stands to left with hands raised as prayer. Overhead is a Greek cross crosslet, surely a mark of Christian origin. The opposite face bears six signs that look as if they might belong to a cryptographic alphabet.
Several amulets have the unusual form of a slender cylinder tapering
35 No. 542, a four-sided bead, seems also to belong with the Graeco-Syrian magical amulets rather than with the oriental seals. The crude designs, which are of no interest, may be seen in Von der Osten's catalogue. The material looks like steatite rather than serρentine, as Von der Osten describes it.