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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2012.1.116
Title
Polished Bone Stylus
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Work Type
stylus
Date
4th-5th century CE
Period
Byzantine period
Culture
Coptic
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/191533
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bone
Technique
Carved
Dimensions
13.7 and 17.9 cm (7 1/16 in.)
Provenance
[C. Dikran Kelekian, Ancient Arts, New York, 1983] sold; to The Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University (1983-2012), transfer; to the Harvard Art Museums, 2012.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Transfer from the Alice Corinne McDaniel Collection, Department of the Classics, Harvard University
Accession Year
2012
Object Number
2012.1.116
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Cylindrical bone stylus; one end is pointed, the other rounded, with carved torus decoration in relief on the stylus shaft.
Commentary
A stylus of this type would have been used to write on a Roman tablet; tablets were made of wood and a surface was covered in wax. The wax surface made the tablet reusable, and the rounded end of the stylus could be used for "erasing" text.

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu