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Identification and Creation
Object Number
Arrow-Shaped Openwork Ornament
Work Type
2nd-6th century CE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Antioch (Syria)
Find Spot: Middle East, Turkey
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Mixed copper alloy
Cast and hammered
9.4 x 1.9 x 0.4 cm (3 11/16 x 3/4 x 3/16 in.)
Technical Details

Technical Observations: Some of the patina is brown, but the majority is metallic. Some corrosion pitting is present, but there are no corrosion products remaining. They were stripped away using an electrolytic or electrochemical technique. The small end may be missing an additional section. The implement was made by casting. The reverse side is flat. The holes in the oval midsection may have been for mechanical attachment, such as with rivets. Although no tool marks are visible because the surface was stripped, the flat sections were probably hammered from the square shaft. The grooved decoration of the shaft could have been made by either hammering or abrasive filing. The holes are perfectly round and were drilled. The heart-shape was probably cut using a saw.

Carol Snow and Henry Lie (submitted 2002, updated 2010)

Excavated from Antioch (no. c855-U801) (Turkey, Hatay) by the Syrian Department of Antiquities (later the Hatay government) and the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and Its Vicinity, (1935-1939), dispersed; to Fogg Art Museum, 1940.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch and its Vicinity
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This ornament is topped by an elongated leaf-shape with a heart-shaped perforation. The shaft of the ornament is decorated by a series of beads separated by double collars. Near the midpoint of the shaft, which is up to 3 cm thick, is an oval disc that has six perforations, three on each side, for attachment. This object would have lain flat against the object to which it was attached (1).


1. For similar attachments, see Z. Mráv, “Auf Reisewagen applizierte ‘Benefiziarierabzeichen’ aus zwei nordostpannonischen Wagengräbern: Die eraviskische Stammeselite im Dienste Roms,” Archaeologiai Értesíto 136 (2011): 21-61, esp. fig. 9.

David Smart

Exhibition History

Antioch-on-the-Orontes: Excavating an Early Byzantine City, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library & Collection, Washington, 04/07/2010 - 10/10/2010

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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