Open Context

Descriptive Variable Value(s)
Year 2002
Material Bone
Object Knife Handle
Length 9.0
Culture Roman/Byzantine
Description The leg is 9.8 cm in length and was carved from a single piece of bone with a slight bend at the knee. When examined under magnification the typical bone structure of small vein holes is especially evident along the bottom edge of the upper thigh. The toes, now missing, were pinned to the foot by a copper-alloy pin. Whether this is a repair or the original method of fabrication is unclear. The remains of the pin extend out the front and back of the foot. It is severely corroded and has cracked the bone across the bottom of the foot. The leg appears to be the handle portion of an object. The slight curve of the leg helps it fit very comfortably in a small hand. The toes would have extended upward below the hand. The top of the thigh is finished and has four decorative lines running around its circumference. There is a deep, round drilled hole into the top of the leg 3.5 cm deep. It was likely drilled to hold the tang of an unknown object, perhaps a blade or comb. A large loss runs across the top of the thigh down the length of the hole. If the leg is held as a handle and a strong downward force was applied it may have caused pressure from the 'blade' to crack the bone thus causing the loss across the top of the hole. The hole does not have any visible traces of metal corrosion from metals such as iron, copper, or silver; so it is unclear what was held by the handle.
Note Recovered from "Room 10"
Disposition Petra Museum, Jordanian Department of Antiquities (2008 object catalog)
Catalog 08-B-1
Note A chapter in the "Petra III" volume, authored by Martha Sharp Joukowsky, Sarah Whitcher Kansa and Fran├žois Poplin, will further discuss this object.

Suggested Citation

Donna Strahan. "08-B-1 from Jordan/Petra Great Temple/Upper Temenos/Trench 94/Locus 41". (2009) In Petra Great Temple Excavations. Martha Sharp Joukowsky (Ed.) . Released: 2009-10-26. Open Context. <> ARK (Archive):

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