viewed directly, a point clearly proved not only by the inscriptions, but also by the way in which weapons and other properties are assigned to the right or the left hand of persons represented. A carefully made cast will usually give as clear a photographic image as an impression will; and even when an impression is clearer, the gain scarcely outweighs the awkwardness of reversing both image and legend. I have been obliged to use some impressions, furnished by technicians who could not understand why they were unsuitable for magical objects. They have usually been made to show the proper aspect of the original by reversing the film in printing.
Determination of the materials used for magical amulets presents embarrassing problems to archaeologists, who are seldom versed in mineralogy. Although the commonest semiprecious stones are easily recognized, others require an expert opinion; and consultants in mineralogy are not usually to be found in archaeological museums. For stones in other collections I have followed official descriptions when available; at times I have had to risk a guess of my own. For pieces in Ann Arbor or lent for study I have sometimes had the help of mineralogists in the University faculty, especially Professors Ε. Η. Κraus, W. F. Hunt, and C. B. Slawson; but they must not be held responsible for errors, since, for fear of abusing their kindness, I consulted them only occasionally. It must be borne in mind that certain tests cannot be applied without damage, even though it be slight, to the surface or the edge of the stone, a risk which an owner is reluctant to take, and which is out of the question for a borrower. Lacking such tests, even a scientist is at a disadvantage, and may be obliged to offer an approximate rather than an exact identification.
In very few instances is the provenance of the objects described certainly known, and exact knowledge would probably help little. Νothing is more certain than that in the Roman imperial period such objects were taken in the course of commerce to places remote from that of their origin; and the place where an amulet was bought in recent times tells us nothing about its ultimate source. For what it is worth, I give such information as can be set down briefly about the collections that are well known to me.
Of the University of Michigan collections the following numbers were bought in Εgypt: 26012, 26017–26113, 26168. Νumbers 26114 and 26115 were bought from a dealer in Beirut; numbers 26119–26166 were assembled in Syria and neighboring regions, and purchased as a lot. The others were bought from various dealers. Mr. Seyrig's amulets were acquired chiefly in Syria, with a few from other places in the Levant. Of the Νewell collection I know only that a considerable number were bought in Syria, especially in Damascus and Beirut. Οthers undoubtedly came from Εgypt. President Ruthven's collection is mainly of Εgyptian origin, but at least one item came from Cyprus. Most of my own amulets were bought from Syrian dealers, a few were acquired in Εgypt, the rest came from various dealers in Greece and Εngland.
Οbjects belonging to museums are identified, as far as possible, by their