Subscribe to Archaeology

Medieval Seal’s Incomplete Engraving Identified

Friday, July 9, 2021

England Silver SealNORFOLK, ENGLAND—BBC News reports that the incomplete Latin inscription on a damaged medieval seal containing a Roman carved gem may be a biblical quote. Alex Cortez, who lives in Alameda, California, heard that Norfolk finds liaison officer Helen Geake and her team had not yet identified the incomplete inscription on the object, which was discovered by a metal detectorist in eastern England. Cortez found a reference to a similar, thirteenth-century seal engraved with part of a psalm in Latin. “So I scrutinized the photos and went through a Latin psalter until I found a likely candidate,” he said. Cortez thinks the seal matrix read “Declina a Malo, a fac bonum,” a phrase meaning “decline from evil and do good.” Geake explained that the phrase is found in Psalm 37 in modern bibles. To read about another artifact found by a metal detectorist in Norfolk, go to "Anglo-Saxon Jewelry Box."

Advertisement

Advertisement


Advertisement