Name of Object:



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. 1949

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Inscribed pottery.


Height 7 cm, width 3 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Petra, Jordan.


A triangular Ostracon that bears part of the Qur'anic sura 105 (the Elephant) written in simple kufic script. Unfortunately some words are missing because the sherd is incomplete. The function of this Ostracon was most probably for the study and memorisation of the sura by a student, but it is possible that it may have formed part of a vessel of some sort which would have been kept in the home to bring good luck and good fortune to its inhabitants.

View Short Description

Ostracon (inscribed pot sherd) from Petra that bears part of the Qur'anic Sura 105 (the Elephant) in kufic script. It was probably used by a student to study the verse, or could have been part of a vessel kept in a house to bring good fortune to its inhabitants.

How date and origin were established:

The object was dated on paleographical grounds to the early Islamic period.

How Object was obtained:

The object was acquired during an archaeological excavation conducted by G. Horsfield in the Palace Tomb at Petra in 1936.

How provenance was established:

The object was found during the course of an archaeological excavation in Petra.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Ostracon" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;jo;Mus01;41;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 82


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