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E01781: 'Tessera' with a labelled depiction of *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and the Christ Child. Found near Beroia/Aleppo (central Syria). Possibly late antique.

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posted on 2016-08-03, 00:00 authored by pnowakowski
A black stone 'tessera'. Diameter: 0.022 m (which seems implausibly small). There is no published image. First published by René Mouterde and Louis Jalabert in 1929, from a copy by Sébastien Ronzevalle.

Decorated with a depiction of Mary with nimbus, covered with a veil. She is seated in a large throne with its top decorated with crosses. The Christ Child is shown in the middle.

The image is labelled with a scarcely legible inscription on the right-hand side of the object:

μήτ[ηρ θεοῦ]/'Mother [of God]'

Text: IGLS 1, no. 217.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Type of Evidence

Inscriptions - Inscribed objects Images and objects - Lamps, ampullae and tokens Images and objects - Other portable objects (metalwork, ivory, etc.) Images and objects - Representative images Literary - Magical texts and amulets


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Syria with Phoenicia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Beroia Thabbora Thabbora

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of an individual

Cult activities - Use of Images

  • Private ownership of an image

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Ampullae, flasks, etc.


The editors suggest that another label could have been placed on the left-hand side. Dating: The editors say nothing about the possible date of the object. Given the lack of any image, we cannot say whether it is of a late antique or middle Byzantine date.


Edition: Jalabert, L., Mouterde, R., Inscriptions grecques et latines de la Syrie, vol. 1: Commagène et Cyrrhestique (BAH 12, Paris: P. Geuthner, 1929), no. 217.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity