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Name of Object:
Ram mouldHolding Museum:
Jordan Archaeological MuseumMuseum Inventory Number:
Height 17 cm, width: 16.5 cm, depth 6 cmMaterial(s) / Technique(s):
Cast iron.Date of the object:
Hegira 2nd century / AD 8th centuryPeriod / Dynasty:
Hallado en al-Fudayn.Description:
A ram-shaped mould made from two equal parts to form the body, and another small piece that forms the head. There are four hinged joints: one on its back, one on the top of its head and two at its feet. The horns of the ram are clearly visible behind the ears.How object was obtained:
The object seems to have functioned as a special kind of mould used for shaping bread or cake for children. Another mould in the shape of an elephant was found along with this one.
The ram has particular significance for Muslims. It is mentioned several times in the Qur'an in for instance, sura 'Al Saffat' (chapter 37, verses 102–7), where the story of Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac is related and how ultimately Abraham sacrificed a ram in place of his son. Within the Muslim festival calendar is that of Eid Al-Adh'ha (Greater Bairam) when a ram is sacrificed, along with other animals such as a camel, a cow or a lamb.
Rams are also a feature of the mosaic floors found in Jordanian Byzantine-period churches. The ram is also evident on the mosaic floor of the Umayyad palace, Qasr Hallabat. A number of Islamic-period metalwork pieces are made in the form of animals.
The mould was obtained as a result of an excavation which was carried out in al-Fudayn, a site located 70 km northeast of Amman, where an Umayyad palace and a mosque were discovered.How date and origin were established:
The object was dated by its location in the archaeological strata and also in association with pottery located close to it which was characteristically Umayyad.How provenance was established:
The provenance is unknown, but the mould was probably produced in Syria.Selected bibliography:
Humbert, J. B., "El-Fedei-Mafraq”, in Contribution française à l'archéologie française jordanienne, Amman, 1989, pp.125–31.Citation:
Aida Naghawy "Ram mould" in Discover Islamic Art. Place: Museum With No Frontiers, 2013. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;jo;Mus01;43;en
Prepared by: Aida Naghawy
Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: JO 08