This jug’s entire surface is covered with writing, and the faint image of a demon can be discerned on the shoulder. While quite unusual for the Islamic period, this combination of features can be found on a group of sixth- and seventh-century ceramics known as incantation bowls. These bowls were supposed to rid their owners of ailments or to exorcize demons from their homes, and were inscribed with curses in Aramaic, Syriac, and Mandaic. The few known examples of such ceramics from the early Islamic period take the form of jugs with handles, rather than bowls, and seem to have only Qur’anic writing, though other forms appeared later on.
1947, excavated at Tepe Madrasa in Nishapur, Iran by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's expedition; 1940, acquired by the Museum in the division of finds