Bronze divination bowl, Turkey, 1451
Divination was used in medicine to try to determine the cause of an illness and to give some indication as to suitable treatments. The inscription engraved around the rim of this bronze silver-plated bowl is written in Thuluth, an Arabic calligraphic script introduced in the late 800s CE. The inscription reads: “Glory and good fortune to our Lord the Victorious, the perfect one, the Sultan Khan Muhammad in the year 855.” The year 855 in the Islamic calendar is equivalent to 1451 CE. The Sultan ruled the Ottoman Empire (now modern day Turkey) from 1451-1481. It is not known whether this is a divination bowl or if it was given to wish health to the owner throughout their life.
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Glossary: divination bowl
The practice of seeking knowledge of the future through the interpretation of omens or other supernatural means.
Glossary: Ottoman empire
Former Turkish empire that controlled much of south east Europe, the Middle East and North Africa between the 14th and 20th centuries.