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:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Iron and bronze, cast.


Height 47 cm, length 58 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Hallado en al-Fudayn.


An iron and bronze brazier of the AH 2nd / AD 8th century, perfect in both the craftsmanship of the relief and in the rendition of the figures in the round. This object is probably one of the best-known and complete of all the Umayyad heating stands to be found in Jordan.

The front plaque consists of six niches surrounded by arcades reposed over columns. The erotic scenes that appear in the niches probably represent the myth of Dionysus and his entourage. The brazier stands on four eagles, while the upper angles have four nude female figurines holding a bird in their left hand.

The combination of iron and bronze form a happy union and make for a beautiful design. The arcaded sides remind one of the vaulted halls at Qasr al-Amra, and the erotic scenes depicted (within) call to mind the frescoes on the walls of the apodyterium (dressing room) of the bath complex (hammam) at Qasr al-Amra. The eagles that support the stand, together with the nude female figurines that stand 47 cm high on their narrow pedestals. Part of the inherited oriental iconography, the artisan integrates Iranian cultural traits with the oriental Greco-Roman style.

Bronze braziers played an important role in the ceremonials of court life. The main function was to heat the caliph's room but they were also used as incense burners in the palace.

View Short Description

An iron and bronze brazier from the Umayyad palace of al-Fudayn. Its front plaque bears erotic scenes that probably represent the myth of Dionysus. Part of the inherited oriental iconography, the artisan integrated Iranian cultural traits with the oriental Greco-Roman style.

How date and origin were established:

The object was dated by its stratigraphic context, and association with Umayyad pottery vessels and shards also found at the site.

How Object was obtained:

The object was found during an excavation in 1986 that took place at al-Fudayn, a site located in Mafraq which lies 70 km north-east of Amman, where a palace and a mosque were discovered. Many metal objects, steatite vessels, ivory and ceramic pots were also found, dating back to the Umayyad period.

How provenance was established:

Where this object was produced is unknown but it was found during archaeological excavation work at al-Fudayn, a site located in Mafraq.

Selected bibliography:

Bienkowski. P., The Art of Jordan , Glasgow, 1991, p.99, cat. no 118.

Humbert, J. B., 'El-Fedein-Mafraq', Liber Annuus 36, 1986, pp.354–8, plate 75.

Humbert, J. B., 'El-Fedein-Mafraq' in Contribution Française à l'Archéologie Française Jordanienne, Amman , 1989, pp.125–31.

La voie royale: 9000 ans d'art au royaume de Jordanie, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1986, p.268.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Brazier" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;jo;Mus01;6;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 06


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