Andrew T. Wilburn
The Selenite and Lead Curse Tablets from Amathous, Cyprus and the Transmission of Magical Technology
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Discovered in the late nineteenth century and subsequently acquired by the British Museum, the cache of more than 200 lead and selenite tablets from Cyprus is one of the largest archives of curse tablets from antiquity. Three features of the assemblage suggest connections with magical texts known from Egypt, the Levant and other locations: references to a 'muzzling deposit', the use of charaktêres, and an invocation to Chthonic deities. This paper analyses these features to explore the mechanisms by which ritual knowledge may have been transmitted in the Mediterranean, positing that ritual techniques may have travelled through direct and indirect pathways within a broad network of exchange.