Name of Object:

Ivory container (pyxis)


Amman, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Jordan Archaeological Museum

About Jordan Archaeological Museum, Amman

Date of Object:

Hegira 2nd century / AD 8th century

Museum Inventory Number:

J. 15708

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Carved ivory.


Height 7 cm, diameter 9 cm

Period / Dynasty:





A small, round ivory container (pyxis) with a lid; the lid now, unfortunately, missing. The decoration on the outside surface consists of a very simple geometrical pattern of an upper and lower narrow band filled with concentric circles. The space in between the bands is decorated with small tangent circles within which are dots forming semi-circular arches. There are traces of black pigment on the top band, and red on the lower one.

View Short Description

Small carved ivory container (pyxis) from al-Fudayn in Mafraq. Its lid is now missing. The decoration on the outer surface consists of a geometrical pattern in two bands, with traces of black pigment on the top band, and red on the lower one.

How date and origin were established:

The object was dated to the Umayyad period by its stratigraphic context and by association with pottery shards from the same period.

How Object was obtained:

The object was recovered in 1986 during archaeological excavations carried out at al-Fudayn in Mafraq which lies about 70 km north-east of Amman.

How provenance was established:

Where this object was produced is unknown but it was recovered during the course of an archaeological excavation carried out at al-Fudayn.

Selected bibliography:

Bienkowski, P., (ed), The Art of Jordan, Glasgow, 1991, p.106.

La voie royale: 9000 ans d'art au royaume de Jordanie, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1986, p.278.

Zabern, P., Der Königs Weg: 9000 Jahre Kunst und Kultur in Jordanien und Palästina, exhibition catalogue, Mainz, 1987, p.351.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Ivory container (pyxis)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;jo;Mus01;12;en

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 16


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On display in

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The Umayyads | The Formation of Islamic Art

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Archaeological Objects Ivory


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