This is a brass amulet from Ghaznavid ruled Persia in the 10th century. The amulet is pierced and incised brass which is 2.4 cm in diametre. It is in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
This amulet case is silver inlaid with black niello and made between the 10th-11th century in Samanid ruled Iran. The niello is in curlicue and kufic inscription. The inscription is a blessing for a man named Hasan ibn Ahmad, probably the owner of the case. It would have held a verse of the Qur’an. The size is 4.6 cm by 4.3 cm by 1.2 cm. The amulet is in the the David Collection.
This amulet case is from the early 12th century Seljuk Empire. It is 3.4 cm wide, made of gold and decorated by repoussé with a kufic inscription. It was sold by Christies for £5,875 ($9,306).
This case is also gold decorated by repoussé but from north-east Iran ruled the Ghurid Dynasty. It is 4.5 cm wide, with a kufic inscription al-mulk li’llah or ‘Sovreignty is God’s’. It was sold by Christies for £16,100 ($32,764).
The cases would have held text from the Qur’an such as-
This scroll is from the 14th century to be kept in a case. It is 755 cm long and 10 cm wide. It contains 114 chapters of the Qur’an (or suras) as well as the 99 names of Allah. It is in the David Collection.
Islamic Jewelry in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Marilyn Jenkins & Manuel Keene. Via Google Books.
Please see the previous post Islamic amulets for more recommended reading.
Built in 1190 but lost for centuries, the Minaret of Jam was only re-discovered mid-20th century. It is located in Afghanistan, in the most remote and inaccessible mountainous area.
It is 65 metres high and made out of baked bricks and glazed tiles. The site is thought to be the capital of the Ghurid Sultanate, the city of Firuzkuh or Turquiose Mountain. The writing is both Kufic and Naskh calligraphy of the Qur’an verses talking about Mary, mother of Jesus. There is also a Jewish cemetery nearby, showing this was a place of tolerance for the three religions.
It is on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in Danger as since the Taliban lost power, the site has been pillaged. There is the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, which is trying to stabilise the Minaret since no restoration work has been done since the Mongol invasion of 1222.
The Mysterious Minaret of Jam by Avi Abrams. On Dark Roasted Blend.
The Rediscovery of the Medieval Jewish Community at Fīrūzkūh in Central Afghanistān by Walter J. Fischel. JStor article.
Environmental Evidence from the Minaret of Jam Archaeological Project, Afghanistan by D. C. Thomas, K. Deckers, M. M. Hald, M. Holmes, M. Madella and K. White. JStor article.
Ghaznavid and Ghūrid Minarets by Ralph Pinder-Wilson. JStor article.
The Minaret: Symbol of Faith & Power by Jonathan M. Bloom. Published in Saudi Aramco World.
Dan Cruickshanks Adventures in Architecture– The Minaret of Jam (part1). YouTube clip.
Dan Cruickshanks Adventures in Architecture– The Minaret of Jam (part 2). YouTube clip.