Some archaelogical remains that was found by Nature Iraq organization staff in the marshes area and handed to Nasiriya Museum and there was three comments (via emails) from archaelogical scientists namely: Dr. Jean Moon. Manchester University, Dr. Franco De Ogistino, Roma University, and the PhD student from New York, Abid Al-Aamor Al-Hamdany.
Bronwen showed your photos to an expert in ancient languages (John Healey at Manchester). As we thought they are 'incantation bowls', that is, bowls with names or other material written on them, designed to be broken deliberately to stop bad luck. this is what she found out:
As I said earlier on the phone, John Healey looked at the photos of the bowls this morning and said that the one with the figure in the middle is Jewish and that ' it is so clear in its writing that I think the bowl experts would be able to read it and date it'. Broadly speaking the dating is 4th to 7th centuries and they are not usually (perhaps never) dated. He added that 'the Jewish bowl looks like no. 039A in the catalogue of bowls published by J.B. Segal and E. Hunter (Catalogue of the Aramaic and Mandaic Incantation Bowls in the British Museum [British Museum Press, London 2000]), which, according to them, is a counterspell.
The other one is less clear. It looks as if it might be Syriac, though John is not sure and he doubts that much of the text could be made out. He said that it looks vaguely similar to some of the Syriac bowls in a book by Marco Moriggi, A Corpus of Syriac Incantation Bows: Syriac Magical Texts from Late-Antique Mesopotamia(Brill, Leiden 2014).
If Jassim would like an expert opinion, the obvious incantation bowl person in Iraq is Professor Bahaa Amer al-Jabouri who is at the University of Baghdad (firstname.lastname@example.org).
these are all Magical Bowl with an inscription in Aramaic. They are also called Incantation Bowl.
You can find a little more information at the following website:
Hope this can help you!
Hugs from Rome,
These bowls were emerged in Iraq during the late Parthian and early Sassanian periods all the time to the Abbasid period. The texts on them are diverse; from religious to magical to talismans. The major purpose of them is to heal the ill people spiritually, similar to what we have in the villages of southern Iraq where a Seid would write a paper-talisman to be tied to a patient's arm. For these attached to your message, as Dr. Azzam said, they are stolen from sites in the Central Marshes, likely from Tell al-Agor -تل العكر -or Abu Shathir أبو شذر or the nearby sites, where bowls and lead objects with Aramaic-Mandaean writing were fond.
I suggest to whoever person has them to return the to the archaeological authorities where he would receive a reward. Would it be possible for you Abu Noor to inform our friends in Maysan Antiquities Office and Museum about this, so they can insure the protection of these sites since al-Agor and Abu Shathir were excavated in 2012 for only a season. Most of the workmen were from the nearby villages, so they could go back and dig the sites since they know what to do to find buried artifacts.
Many thanks and best wishes.