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Judaism A Demon Trap

Incantation bowl. Mesapotamia, ca. 5th–7th centuries CE. NYPL, Manuscripts and Archives Division.

Terracotta incantation bowls were created in Mesopotamia between the 5th and the 7th centuries CE. Usually buried in a building's foundation, magic bowls were designed to protect a house and its inhabitants from demons and evildoers. The writing on their interior is usually in Aramaic, Syriac, Mandaic, or Middle Persian (Pahlavi). Many of the nearly 2,000 incantation bowls discovered and preserved to date include script that may be broadly described as Babylonian Jewish Aramaic.