'Magical' Amulet Dating Back 1500 Years Causes Buzzing Among Archaeologists; Inscription Said To Represent Osiris

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Bullrunner Deirdre Carney displays an amulet asking for the protection of St Fermin following the fifth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 11, 2014. The festival, a heady mix of drinking, dancing, late nights and bullfights,
Bullrunner Deirdre Carney displays an amulet asking for the protection of St Fermin following the fifth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 11, 2014. The festival, a heady mix of drinking, dancing, late nights and bullfights, made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his novel "The Sun Also Rises", runs for nine days until July 14. Two runners were gored in the run that lasted two and a half minutes, according to local media. Picture taken July 11, 2014. Reuters

In southwest Cyprus, a "magical" amulet that dates back to 1500 years has been unearthed. The amulet, found in Nea Paphos, an ancient city in 2011, has a palindrome inscription, which reads the same when it is read backwards as well as forward. The inscription contained the following words: 

ΙΑΕW

ΒΑΦΡΕΝΕΜ

ΟΥΝΟΘΙΛΑΡΙ

ΚΝΙΦΙΑΕΥΕ

ΑΙΦΙΝΚΙΡΑΛ

ΙΘΟΝΥΟΜΕ

ΝΕΡΦΑΒW

ΕΑΙ

The archaeologists said that when the inscription was translated into English, it read the following message:

"Iahweh is the bearer of the secret name, the lion of Re secure in his shrine."

According to the Daily Mail and Live Science, the old beliefs of the people was quashed by the Romans. A few of the people still placed their faith in superstitions as well as ancient gods for the purpose of protecting themselves. This was a suggestion made by the archaeologists after the discovery of the magical amulet, which was not the first artefact that was discovered with a palindrome inscribed on it.

Apart from the inscriptions, images were found on the amulet which were said to represent the Egyptian God of the afterlife, Osiris. The images were also said to represent the God of silence, Harpocrates, who was seen sitting on a stool and holding a finger to his lips. Apart from that, it is said that the image that is considered to be Harpocrates could be a cynocephalus, which is a mythical dog-headed creature, who could have been mimicking the God of silence.

In the journal, Studies in Ancient Art and Civilisation, Professor Joachim Śliwa from the Institute of Archaeology at Jagiellonian University in Poland, wrote that there were two mistakes in the palindrome. One of the mistakes was that the scribe had written "p" instead of "v" in two places in the inscription. on the amulet, which was made when Cyprus was part of the Byzantine Empire. 

Professor Śliwa explained that the animals might have been based on Egyptian sources and also might not have been drawn with too much skill and that it had unusual details. As an example, he said that the God of silence should not be seated on a stool but should be seated on a lotus flower. 

Contact the writer: afza.kandrikar@gmail.com 

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