Lead Curse Tablet

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Roman lead curse tablet











Date Acquired  2006
Location Discovered unknown
Material  Lead
Dimensions 18.5cm long x 5.4cm wide
Roman Empire 1st to 3rd Century AD

This item is a thin piece of lead which was folded over numerous times in ancient times.  These pieces of lead are commonly known as "Curse Tablets".  They would be deposited by people around temples of stadiums usually with an inscription inside.  These inscriptions were easily scribed on the soft metal with a bronze stylus (ancient pen). They were basically offerings to the gods or prayers for good luck.

The name Curse Tablet came from the fact that many of the lead pieces contained bad wishes or curses on others.  These were very personal messages to the gods and sometimes named specific people and places.

This piece does not appear to contain text, however restoration work may reveal something that is at this point not visible. A nice shinny yellowish patina exists on the outside piece.


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**Note on background. A Fresco from the ancient Roman City of Pompeii. The interior walls of a wealthy Roman's Estate 79AD. Picture taken July 2005.