A 2,800-year-old incantation, written in Aramaic, describes the capture of a creature called the “devourer” said to be able to produce “fire.”
Discovered in August 2017 within a small building, possibly a shrine, at the site of Zincirli (called “Sam’al” in ancient times), in Turkey, the incantation is inscribed on a stone cosmetic container. Written by a man who practiced magic who is called “Rahim son of Shadadan,” the incantation” describes the seizure of a threatening creature [called] the ‘devourer,'” wrote Madadh Richey and Dennis Pardee in the abstract of a presentation they gave recently at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. That event took place in Denver between Nov 17 and 21.
The blood of the devourer was used to treat someone who appears to have been suffering from the “fire” of the devourer, said Richey, a doctoral student in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. It’s not clear whether the blood was given to the afflicted person in a potion that could be swallowed or whether it was smeared onto their body, Richey told Live Science.