Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ISAW Papers 8: Ivory from Muziris

[First posted in AWOL 24 February 2012. Updated 7 July 2013]

ISAW Papers 8
This article is now available at the URI http://dlib.nyu.edu/awdl/isaw/isaw-papers/8/ as part of the NYU Library's Ancient World Digital Library in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW). More information about ISAW Papers is available on the ISAW website.

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ISAW Papers 8 (2014)
Ivory from Muziris*
Federico De Romanis

Abstract: The extant portion of the verso side of the “Muziris papyrus” (PVindob G 40822 v = SB XVIII 13617 v) contains the monetary evaluation of three-quarters of an Indian cargo loaded on the ship Hermapollon. Among the commodities are 167 elephant tusks weighing 3,228.5 kgs and schidai weighing 538.5 kgs. It is argued that schidai are fragments of tusks trimmed away from captive elephants. A comparison with commercial ivory lots of the early sixteenth century shows the selected quality of the tusks loaded on the Hermapollon.

Subjects: India--Relations--Rome, Ivory industry, Economic history--to 500.

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