The J. Paul Getty Museum

Token with an Egyptian Obelisk and a Temple

Object Details

Title:

Token with an Egyptian Obelisk and a Temple

Artist/Maker:

Unknown

Culture:

Roman

Date:

early 1st century A.D.

Medium:

Ivory

Object Number:

79.AI.169

Dimensions:

2.9 cm (1 1/8 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of Marshall and Ruth Goldberg

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Object Description

This circular token probably served as a game counter. The obverse shows an obelisk next to a building that can be identified as a temple. It has a curvilinear roof and club-shaped columns of Egyptian style. The doorway is decorated with rectangular blocks in two rows. In the pediment, a circular ornament likely represents the sun disk. The reverse is inscribed in Greek with the name Nikopolis, along with the Roman numeral IIII and the Greek letter delta. The inscription identifies the location of the obelisk and building as Nikopolis, a suburb of Alexandria in Egypt.

Provenance
Provenance
- 1979

Marshall Goldberg and Mrs. Ruth Goldberg (Beverly Hills, California), donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World (March 27 to September 9, 2018)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 27 to September 9, 2018
Bibliography
Bibliography

Jentoft-Nilsen, Marit. "Some Objects Relating to the Theatre." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 10 (1982), pp. 159-164, pp. 159, 161-62; figs. 4-5.

Pleket, H.W. and Stroud, R.S., eds. Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 32. (Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben, 1985), p. 452, no. 1621.

Bodel, John, and Stephen Tracy. Greek and Latin Inscriptions in the USA: A Checklist (New York: American Academy in Rome, 1997), p. 13.

Spier, Jeffrey, et al., eds. Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World, exh. cat.  (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2018), p. 281, no. 179. ill., entry by Jeffrey Spier.