Abila Tomb H-6 Artifacts
The salvage excavation of Tomb H-6 was directed by Dr. Robert Smith during the 1988 field season; overall work at Abila was under the responsibility of Dr. W. Harold Mare. Tomb H-6 had been robbed, but still very significant because it contained a number of locally manufactured funerary statues, Roman pottery, Roman lamps and two Roman coins.

Smith (xxx:xxx) reports that a minimum of 82 seperate pieces of pottery had been placed in the tomb; this value would most certainly be higher considering the more intact pieces had been removed by the recent activity of looters. A total of 8 intact oil lamps were found as well as fragment of at least another 20 lamps; again this value would be higher if considering artifacts removed by the looters. The lamps were predominately from the Roman Period. The pottery forms were predominantely Roman and Early Byzantine. Pottery and lamp evidence suggest the tomb was actively used from the 2nd through 4th century AD.

Smith, Robert W.
xxxx Abila Tomb Excavations 1988. Near Eastern Archaeological Society Bulletin. xxxx:xxx-xxxx.


Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0014. Scale in cm.



Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0014, reg. no. 23. Scale in cm. Length = 7.7 cm, width = 5.2 cm and thickness = 2.5 cm.

Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0015. Scale in cm.

Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0015, reg. no. 13. Scale in cm. Length 7.6 cm, width = 6.2 cm and thickness = 2.5 cm.

Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0016.16. Scale in cm.

Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0017.15. Scale in cm.

Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0018. Scale in cm.





Clay oil lamp. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0012.17, reg. no. 10. Scale in cm. Length = 8.0 cm, width = 6.1 cm and thickness = 3.0 cm.

Gold ear ring. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 005. Scale in cm.

Metal (silver?) ear ring. A88, Tomb H6, Locus xxxx. Scale in cm.


Two Roman coins. Scale in cm. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0001.


Steatite spindle whorl. Scale in cm. A88, Tomb H6, Locus 0013.9.

Bodysherd with a dipinto inscription. Scale in cm. The sherd was found in tomb H6, locus 0014 was discovered on 5 July 1988. This is a bodysherd of a Roman bag jar. the sherd measures 10.5 cm in height and 4.0 cm width at the top and 12.0 cm wide at the bottom. The outside surface of the sherd is ribbed in the upper half and flattened in the lower half where the inscription was written. Dr. Bastiaan van Eldern translated the Greek inscription as the name "Trajan" and dates the letter forms (based on parallels to papyri) to the second and third century AD. He suggested that the name Trajan would have been popular among veterans of one of the Roman legions serving in Eastern frontier of the Empire.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 014. Height = 7.1 cm and rim diameter = 11.1 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 014. Height = 4.7 cm and rim diameter = 11.8 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 012. Height = 7.1 cm and rim diameter = 13.2 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 014. Height = 4.4 cm and rim diameter = 10.5 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 014. Height = 6.6 cm and rim diameter = 12.1 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.

Pottery bowl. A96, Tomb H-6, Locus 014. Height = 6.0 cm and rim diameter - 13.4 cm. Drawing by Robert W. Smith. Computerized illustration by Neathery Batsell Fuller.



Thank you to Dr. David Chapman (Convenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis) and Dr. David Villa (John Brown University) for permission to document to work with the artifacts and records from the Abila Project. Special thanks to Cheryl Eaton to helping locate the relevant artifacts and records. A nod of appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Robert Smith for his excellent records and careful excavation of the tomb H-6.
Webpage created 5 March 2017
Updated 28 April 2017